NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 X7.04-9706
PHASE 1 CONTRACT NUMBER: NNX08CB61P
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Surface System Dust Mitigation
PROPOSAL TITLE: High-Fidelity Lunar Dust Simulant

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Orbital Technologies Corporation
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717 - 1961
(608) 229-2730

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert J. Gustafson
gustafsonr@orbitec.com
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717 - 1961
(608) 827-5000

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The severity of the lunar dust problems encountered during the Apollo missions were consistently underestimated by ground tests, illustrating the need to develop significantly better lunar dust simulants and simulation facilities. ORBITEC is proposing to continue developing high-fidelity lunar dust simulants that better match the unique properties of lunar dust than existing regolith simulants (such as JSC-1AF). Current lunar regolith simulants do not have enough of the very fine particles, most lack the agglutinitic glass and complex surface textures that dominate lunar dust, and none of them have nanophase iron (Fe0). High-fidelity lunar dust simulants approximate the size, morphology, composition, and other important properties of lunar dust (including nanophase Fe0). High-fidelity lunar dust simulants are required to physically evaluate the effects of lunar dust on the operation of all Exploration Surface Systems and to verify the effectiveness of dust mitigation strategies and technologies. During Phase 1, several prototype lunar dust simulants were created, samples of the prototype lunar dust simulants were delivered to NASA for characterization (TRL 4). The proposed Phase 2 effort will refine and demonstrate the production process for lunar dust simulants that will be characterized and delivered to NASA for a variety of applications (TRL 6).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
High-fidelity lunar dust simulants are required to evaluate the effects of lunar dust and verify the effectiveness of dust mitigation strategies and technologies for all Exploration Surface Systems, including: extravehicular mobility suit material composition and cleaning operations, lunar habitat construction design, mechanical performance (radiators, seals, valves), electrical performance (tools and equipment), landing operations (vision systems), and all manners of surface operations. Since there is strong evidence that the prototype lunar dust simulants contain the critical metallic iron component (including nanophase Fe0) along with the morphologies of lunar dust particles, it will also be applicable to human health and toxicity studies.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
High-fidelity lunar dust simulants are being developed to support the needs of the NASA lunar exploration program. However, industry and research institutions that are developing any EVA equipment for use on the lunar surface will also require high-fidelity lunar dust simulants to physically evaluate the effects of lunar dust on the operation of all Exploration Surface Systems and to verify the effectiveness of dust mitigation strategies and technologies. Much of this work in the near future will be under NASA contracts. Longer term, private industry plans to develop a variety of EVA equipment for use on the lunar surface.

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.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Manned-Maneuvering Units
Portable Life Support
Suits
Testing Facilities
Testing Requirements and Architectures
Tools


Form Generated on 10-23-08 13:36