NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 06-2 X3.01-9555
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Cabin Atmospheric Management and Habitation Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Plasma Air Decontamination System (PADS)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Orbital Technologies Corporation
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717 - 1961
(608) 827-5000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Yonghui Ma
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717 - 1961
(608) 229-2805

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The proposed Plasma Air Decontamination System (PADS) is a trace contaminant control device based on non-thermal atmospheric-pressure plasma technology. Compared to the Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) and the Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal system (VPCAR), this novel technology operates at ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure, requires less energy, has no moving parts, and requires no consumables. The non-thermal plasma has been proven successful in decomposing various volatile organic carbons (VOCs) found in spacecraft environments. The prototype PADS reactor developed in Phase I has also demonstrated successful removal of ammonia and selected VOCs (e.g., methane, acetone, methylene chloride, and ethylbenzene) in air. The Phase II effort will further optimize this technology and improve its efficiency. It will be designed to interface with both TCCS and VPCAR. Its incorporation would eliminate the high-temperature catalytic reactors in the two systems, and facilitate a decrease in size or total elimination of the intensive resupply of activated carbon for adsorbent beds. This would result in significant savings in launch mass and cost for long duration missions and a reduction in power requirements. It also has great potential to be scaled to various applications and/or incorporated into other life support systems for streamlined air purification.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This technology has broad possibilities for air purification in commercial systems. Portable, plasma-based, air purifiers are a relatively new entrant to the home health market. This opens the possibility for ORBITEC to license the advanced plasma technology created from this SBIR application to major manufacturers. Targeted markets such as office buildings, airplanes, buses, and trains, where large numbers of people are grouped together could benefit from a compact system that would both decompose pollutants and neutralize biological contamination introduced by others. This system would be readily integrated into existing ventilation infrastructure in these applications. Larger scale applications may include accommodation of large air flows from industrial processes where quantities of VOCs or other pollutants are required to be removed or altered prior to release into the atmosphere. This same larger system also has applications in homeland security, protecting military personnel from certain chemical attacks, or remediation of polluted ecosystems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The PADS technology will likely provide a higher quality of trace contaminant control in a spacecraft or habitat than is provided by the current technology, and will eliminate many of the disadvantages including the high temperature/energy requirements by the catalytic reactors, significant re-supply mass of the disposable adsorbent beds, and the risk of adsorbent beds releasing adsorbed pollutants. It also does not require a vacuum as do regenerable adsorbent solutions, giving significant advantages for use in planetary surface base applications. The system is also suitable for use both on spacecraft and on surface habitats where a ready source of vacuum does not exist. The ability to scale the system allows it to be reduced in size for use in a small volume such as the Lunar Surface Access Module or Crew Exploration Vehicle. Multiple applications will allow for commonality of components and reduced crew training for maintenance and operation.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Air Revitalization and Conditioning
Biomedical and Life Support
Sterilization/Pathogen and Microbial Control
Waste Processing and Reclamation

Form Generated on 08-02-07 14:39