NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 X4.02-9360
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Space Suit Life Support Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Metabolic Heat Regenerated Temperature Swing Adsorption for CO2, Thermal and 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 S Iacomini
3481 E. Michigan Street
Tucson, AR 85714 - 2221
(520) 382-4824

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
MTSA technology specifically addresses the thermal, CO2 and humidity control challenges faced by Portable Life Support Systems (PLSS) to be used in NASA's Constellation Program. Metabolically-produced CO2 present in the ventilation gas of a PLSS is collected using a CO2-selective adsorbent via temperature swing adsorption. The temperature swing is achieved through cooling to well below metabolic temperatures. The coolant can be water, liquid CO2 (LCO2), or any cryogenic fluid. Water or LCO2 is used as coolant by expanding the liquid to below sublimation temperatures when exposed to low pressure or vacuum environments. Subsequent super heated vapor, as well as additional coolant, is used to further cool the astronaut. The adsorbent is warmed using moist ventilation gas, producing condensation which is recycled at the habitat.

The overall objective of the Phase 2 effort is to develop and test in a relevant environment a full-scale lunar PLSS MTSA subassembly Engineering Development Unit (EDU) comprised of a condensing ice heat exchanger (CIHX), a sorbent bed and a sublimation heat exchanger (HX). This will be achieved by developing high fidelity models and designs of the three functions, validated with test data available from previous work. At the completion of the effort, the EDU will have been manufactured and tested. The MTSA subassembly will be at TRL 5 and the EDU can be used for off-nominal operational testing as well as MTSA system integration tests.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
MTSA technology provides thermal, CO2 and humidity control for Portable Life Support Systems. Coolant flexibility enabled by the application of MTSA technology makes possible one PLSS design for use on the moon and on Mars.
Given the multiple processes involved, there are several potential spin-offs of MTSA technology development for other NASA applications. For example, sublimation heat exchanger technology can be applied in surface habitats and small pressurized rovers (SPRs) where forced sublimated convection minimizes dust contamination. The entire MTSA concept can be possibly applied at the vehicle level. For example, habitat air revitalization could be performed by means of water recycling (rather than rejection and loss) as well as CO2 collection for oxygen regeneration or coolant production.

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 the sublimation heat exchanger concept emplolyed by MTSA is a powerful means for safe thermal control that exhausts non-flammable, spent coolant.

Spin-offs of MTSA component development can be applied to cabin atmosphere maintenance concepts for emerging commercial orbital flight vehicles such as Bigelow's space hotels, and Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) vehicles where cryogenic breathing supplies may be available as coolant to drive CO2 and humidity control systems.

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
Portable Life Support

Form Generated on 10-23-08 13:36