NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X4.02-9360
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Space Suit Life Support Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Metabolic Heat Regenerated Temperature Swing Adsorption for CO2, Thermal & Humidity Control

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paragon Space Development Corp.
3481 E. Michigan Street
Tucson, AZ 85714 - 2221
(520) 903-1000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Christine Iacomini
3481 E. Michigan Street
Tucson, AZ 85714 - 2221
(520) 903-1000

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 2 to 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Metabolic heat regenerated Temperature Swing Adsorption (MTSA) technology is proposed for a Portable Life Support System to remove and reject heat and carbon dioxide (CO2) regardless of the environment (lunar or Mars, vacuum or CO2), as well as to help control humidity in the ventilation loop. The basic principal is removal of metabolically-produced CO2 by an adsorbent with regeneration using a temperature swing. The lower temperature is achieved via expansion of liquid CO2 (LCO2). The higher temperature is achieved with metabolic heat from the moist ventilation loop gas through a condensing ice heat exchanger. The condensed water is saved and recycled at the habitat. Both the LCO2 exhaust and the metabolically-produced CO2 are rejected to the surrounding environment. The effective temperature swing is between the CO2 sublimation temperature (~195 K) and the ventilation loop gas temperature (~300 K).

MTSA has reasonable mass, volume and power with minimal impact on infrastructure and operations. The basic principles of MTSA technology are well-proven, safe, do not rely on cryogenics, do not consume water but conserve it, are regenerable and will not compromise scientific investigations by sublimating water for heat rejection onto the premises. An added benefit of MTSA technology is that the LCO2 coolant can be produced and stored on the surface of Mars, saving launch costs and providing easy emergency access and replenishment.

As Paragon has demonstrated adsorbent and LCO2 cooling performance relevant to MTSA operating conditions, Phase 1 will emphasize understanding the condensing ice heat exchanger design through analytical formulations and validation through testing. Paragon's unique experience will ensure that this Phase 1 effort will be successful, resulting in a strong Phase 2 MTSA development plan to design, build and test in a relevant environment a full-scale MTSA subsystem prototype.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
MTSA technology specifically addresses the challenges faced by a Martian PLSS. These include rejecting metabolically-produced CO2 to a CO2 environment and thermal control without wasting resources and contaminating the Martian surface. MTSA has the potential added benefit in that it recycles water easily with no added mass or infrastructure back at the habitat. Further, the coolant can be made from Martian resources, reducing the reliance on Earth launches. The coolant can also be stored on the Martian surface without boil-off, readily accessible during an EVA to enable extended operations or provide extra cooling in emergencies.

Another potential NASA application includes using MTSA on the moon. Liquid oxygen (LOX) could be used as the coolant rather than LCO2. Warmed LOX exhaust would provide the user with breathing gas rather than be expelled. If LOX is available, this would be a means for using the moon to test Martian technologies. Regardless of LOX availability, the LCO2 cooling capacity on the moon could be desirable, particularly in the event of an emergency where an astronaut will require significant heat rejection.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA applications include a wide variety of portable life support systems for the Department of Defense and Home Land defense in chemical warfare agent shelters. We also anticipate interest from the fire fighter community as LCO2 is a powerful means for safe thermal control that exhausts non-flammable, spent coolant. Developments made during this research will contribute to making personal LCO2 thermal control systems more affordable and reliable.

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
Portable Life Support

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50