NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X5.02-9839
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Surface System Dust Mitigation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Durable Dust Repellent Coating for Metals

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Pioneer Astronautics
11111 W. 8th Avenue, Unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 - 5516
(303) 980-0890

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert Zubrin
11111 W. 8th Avenue, Unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 - 5516
(303) 980-0890

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The Durable Dust Repellent Coating (DDRC) consists of nano-phase silica, titania, or other oxide coatings to repel dust in a vacuum environment over a wide range of temperatures. The coatings are engineered with dielectric properties to strongly repel particles from surfaces. Durability is attained by application methods such as sol-gel coating or physical vapor deposition onto stationary and rotating surfaces of EVA equipment, hatches and seals, lunar modules, ISRU hardware, and habitats prior to assembly. The application of the coating is followed by annealing at elevated temperatures. Initial development is planned for stainless steel, followed later by other metals and plastics. In addition to dust repellency, the DDRC provides abrasion resistance to lunar hardware. Some of the DDRC coatings also impart UV resistance to the substrate. Unlike convential dust removal methods such as brushing or blowing that may result in deep infiltration of particles, dust can be readily removed from DDRC surfaces by tilting or mild vibration.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
DDRC for stainless steel developed during Phase 1 will be useful for lunar operations that involve exposed stainless steel surfaces on the moon. Phase 2 coatings would have much wider application to activities on the lunar surface, including space suit fabric, other metals, and flexible materials.

Pioneer would work with the Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) to establish Technology Infusion Advisors to help guide the Phase 1 work. Commercialization could be achieved in cooperation with targeted industries or government agencies willing to invest in adaptation of the DDRC to specific industrial needs and for use in specified environments. This would include developing efficient, economic methods of application to the surface that DDRC is needed for and a course of field testing to prove effectiveness prior to marketing.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
DDRC coatings would also find wide applications for the Department of Defense during military deployment to dusty regions where similar equipment breakdowns occur as a result of dust contamination.

Industries that create processing dust (such as mining and excavation activity) would be likely beneficiaries for the DDRC.

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
Launch and Flight Vehicle
Manned-Maneuvering Units
Radiation Shielding Materials

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56