NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 X5.02-9458
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Surface System Dust Mitigation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Dust Mitigation for the Lunar Surface

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Adherent Technologies, Inc.
9621 Camino del Sol NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111 - 1522
(505) 346-1685

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jan M. Gosau
11208 Cochiti SE
Albuquerque, NM 87123 - 3361
(505) 346-1685

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The lunar surface is, to a large extent, covered with a dust layer several meters thick. Known as lunar regolith, it has been produced by meteorite impacts since the formation of a solid lunar surface billions of years ago. The regolith, while promising as a future building material for lunar installations, also poses a hazard in the form of dust clouds being generated by all forms of gas expansions in the high vacuum environment of the lunar surface. This is especially pronounced during spacecraft operations; a single lunar landing and take-off emits the same amount of gas as the whole lunar atmosphere contains. Instruments placed on the moon by the Apollo mission showed marked degradation due to damage from dust released during the lander's takeoff. Since there is no air movement to remove the dust after it is deposited, it is essential that dust is not displaced during everyday operations of a permanent lunar installation.

Adherent Technologies, Inc. (ATI) has over the last decade developed a number of specialty UV-curing resins for NASA applications in space. In the Phase I program, ATI developed a resin and dispenser system to coat large areas of lunar surface around landing pads and atmosphere locks with a thin, dust-stabilizing coating. The coating is UV stable and elastic enough to weather the temperature extremes of a lunar day and night cycle. Special emphasis was given to a low outgassing, solvent-free system that does not contaminate the lunar atmosphere.

In the Phase II program, ATI will optimize the resin formulations from the Phase I for thin film coatings. By comparing those to two-part resin systems, a balance between required properties and needed launch weight can be struck for different mission profiles. The engineering development will concentrate on a lightweight, reliable spray system to be added onto existing NASA moon vehicles.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary application for the new coating is dust mitigation for future lunar missions, especially near the landing pad for a permanent installation. It can be combined with ATI's penetrating two-part formulations for roads and landing pads in a single applicator, potentially as an add-on to the planned lunar earth mover.

The resin development also supports application of UV-cure resins in Rigidization on CommandTM systems for inflatable structures like shelters and antennas as well as structural repair tapes.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Initial commercialization of the dust mitigation resin system will center on terrestrial dust mitigation and leaching prevention for industrial waste sites like mine tailings. Other applications include asbestos remediation, quick-erect shelters for military and disaster relief applications, as well as self-sealing tank inserts.

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

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26