NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X5.02-9672
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Surface System Dust Mitigation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Multi-Use Coating for Abrasion Prevention, Wear Protection, and Lunar Dust Removal

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811 - 1558
(256) 851-7653

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Elizabeth Schofield
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811 - 1558
(256) 851-7653

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The deleterious effects of lunar dust, typically less than 50 ┬Ám in diameter, have to be addressed prior to establishing a human base and long duration human presence on the surface of the moon. These effects include abrasion of seals, gaskets, motors, actuators, gimbals, bearings, blocking of optical windows, and coating of thermal control surfaces and solar panels with lunar dust. Negative physiological effects due to dust inhalation by astronauts must be mitigated. Issues related to lunar dust have been identified since the Apollo missions; however, no credible mitigation techniques have been implemented to date. The essence of this proposed activity is to develop a dual-use coating system - a highly wear resistant coating surface that can also perform as part of an electrically conductive circuit upon demand to minimize wear surface abrasion and, when electrically activated, repel fine lunar dust particles from wear surfaces, sealing surfaces, and complex geometries. Multi-use wear resistant surfaces are also applicable to space structures such as the trundle bearings on the space station solar arrays.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA applications of the technology include all lunar surface operations and all materials/equipment exposed to the lunar surface environment, such as rovers and robotic systems, prospecting equipment, habitat materials, EVA suits and astronaut apparel, thermal radiators, power systems, communications equipment, solar concentrators, airlock systems and seals, and measuring equipment. This multi-use technology is greatly needed for any surface or component for which dust deposition or inclusion would interfere with its function, especially where typical dust removal methods (brushing, etc.) are ineffective, time consuming, or would destroy the surface properties due to the highly abrasive nature of the dust. Components of aerospace transportation vehicles, space station, space transportation vehicles such as the Ares V launch vehicle, space station, orbiters, landing vehicles such as the Altair Lunar Lander, rovers, and habitat components all provide potential insertion locations for Phase 2 technology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA commercial applications for this technology are found in the Defense Sector, namely dust removal from and wear protection of components within the U.S. Army's Objective Force Warrior uniforms or similar apparel, dust removal from and wear protection of air intakes and ventilation apparatus for heavy equipment and vehicles, and dust removal from electronics and communication equipment in combat situations. Commercial applications include prospecting equipment, communications protection, industrial dust mitigation for electronics and sealing mechanisms, and industrial bearings in all rotating or translating equipment.

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.

Earth-Supplied Resource Utilization
In-situ Resource Utilization
Multifunctional/Smart Materials

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56