NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X5.02-8794
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Surface System Dust Mitigation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Liquid Crystal Membrane Dust Mitigation System for Lunar or Martian Operations

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Physical Sciences, Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 689-0003

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Richard W. Guiler
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 689-0003

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Lunar dust creates a number of hazards to lunar operations including, effect on human health, degradation of life support systems, wear to mechanical systems and loss of efficiency of solar arrays.

Lunar operations require a system which mechanically removes dust from key systems and prevents its redeposition. While there is no wind on the moon, electrical phenomena allow the transport of lunar dust over long distances. Lunar dust is constantly in motion.

There are currently no dust mitigation techniques that can be applied to a variety of surfaces which can mechanically remove dust and prevent its redeposition. Electrostatic dust removal techniques are being developed, but these have not been tested with the pure iron particles found in lunar dust and lack mechanical removal schemes needed for imbricated angular particles.

Physical Sciences Inc. and West Virginia University proposes a novel liquid crystal membrane dust mitigation system (LCMDMS). This system uses both electro static (conductive layers for charge control) and mechanical (vibrating surface) dust removal/prevention techniques to maintain dust free operation of flexible, curved, transparent and opaque lunar based systems. This system is designed to be transparent and applied as a membrane to a surface which needs to be kept dust free.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
PSI's proposed liquid crystal membrane dust mitigation appliqué concept is a revolutionary concept and will have potential applications in the following areas:
* Dust and debris removal from systems deployed in lunar and Martian exploration;
* Spacesuit dust alleviation;
* Boundary layer control through dynamic roughness, Military, commercial and general-aviation drag reduction and stall delay;
* UAV and MAV control of flow separation and transition;
* Control of flow separation in internal flow applications;
* De-icing of aerodynamic surfaces.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
* De-icing of wind turbine surfaces;
* Act as active "turbulators" in pipe flow;
* Dust mitigation for earth based systems such as turbine intakes for ground power units;
* Flow control for marine based 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.

Airlocks/Environmental Interfaces
Photovoltaic Conversion
Portable Life Support

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56