NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X1.02-9836
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Gas, Liquid, and Solid Processing to Produce Oxygen and Fuels from In-Situ Resources
PROPOSAL TITLE: Plasma Catalytic Extraction of Oxygen from the Martian Atmosphere

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
UMPQUA Research Company
P.O. Box 609
Myrtle Creek, OR 97457 - 0102
(541) 863-7770

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Richard R. Wheeler, Jr., P.E.
rwheeler@urcmail.net
PO Box 609
Myrtle Creek, OR 97457 - 0102
(541) 863-2661

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Plasma catalytic techniques are proposed for the extraction of oxygen from the abundant carbon dioxide contained in the Martian atmosphere (95% CO2).. The Phase I project will clearly demonstrate the feasibility of achieving these goals by focussing on key aspects of the technology, such as efficient microwave plasma catalytic conversion at relevant pressures and processing rates. The Phase II program will advance the technology through a more in depth development effort to the point where a fully functional prototype will be assembled and tested. Successful culmination of this effort will result in a self contained, energy efficient technique that can be utilized in robotic precursor missions to Mars to stockpile oxygen in support of future manned missions to the planet.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The NASA application will be as Flight Hardware for deployment in support of future missions to Mars. Extraction of oxygen from the Martian atmosphere may well be an enabling technology for future manned missions to Mars. Ideally this technology will be purchased as Flight Hardware by NASA, or by an aerospace contracting firm on behalf of NASA, resulting in enhanced capability in support of manned missions on Mars, where increased capacity, minimization of expendables, low power requirements, and reliable operation are highly valued.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Efficient conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to oxygen and carbon monoxide would not only provide a practical means to deal with an important greenhouse gas but also provide a key component for synthesis gas (a mixture of CO and H2), a valuable resource used in a variety of industrial-scale processes, such as the Haber process for ammonia production and in the synthesis of various organic compounds such as methanol and synthetic gasoline. An efficient technique that removes CO2 and creates an important industrial feedstock will be cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and commercially attractive.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Resource Extraction


Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12