NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X7.01-8098
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Robotic Systems for Human Exploration
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low-cost, High Titanium Mare Simulant: Bulk, Dust and "Orange Spheres"

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Zybek Advanced Products, Inc.
2845 29th Street
Boulder, CO 80301 - 1228
(303) 530-2727

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael A Weinstein
2845 29th Street
Boulder, CO 80301 - 1228
(303) 530-2727 Extension :1

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Space exploration require simulants for equipment design, development and testing. This proposal directly responds to the solicitation by improving simulant fidelity, availability, and cost, by developing an innovative process to chemically enrich a low cost feedstock and manufacturing high titanium dust and spheres.

Lunar regolith contains varying amounts of titanium oxide (up to 16% TiO2). JSC simulants contained only 1 to 2 %. This SBIR will produce a mare dust simulant from a synthetically prepared feedstock that contain two levels of TiO2 up to approximately 16%. The full simulant will include glass, pseudo-agglutinate and crystal material. Experiments will be conducted to produce spheres from the high-titanium material. Chemically enhanced simulant (bulk, dust, "orange" spheres) will provide a new level of fidelity that has not been realized to date. The estimated cost per ton of the high-titanium feed stock material will be less than $9,000 per ton.

By producing high titanium Mare, bulk, dust and spheres (with capability to manufacture volumes beyond laboratory testing), ZAP will improve fidelity, reduce cost and schedules, improve processes, and develop abrasion and adhesion characterization techniques and methods.
This Phase I program will deliver the following:
•High Titanium Simulant
- Chemically enriched basaltic lunar simulant material
- Bulk (combining glass, pseudo-agglutinate , crystal), dust, "orange" spheres
•Experimental adhesion and abrasiveness results and comparisons
•Cost & Schedule Analysis
-Indentify cost and schedule versus fidelity, process improvements, and other variables

Outcomes include an economical way to produce material, improved simulant availability, cost and fidelity that addresses needs within multiple NASA centers, and leverages previous investments in ZAP's patented material production capability.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
ZAP has firsthand knowledge of an increasing number of groups trying to purchase simulant from ZAP or requesting that ZAP process their specialty feedstock. This proposal will have direct benefit to NASA centers and Directorates as well as to research institutions and private companies.

In addition to developing systems that will provide simulants for the future, this program delivers a new level of fidelity with high-levels of titanium.

Simulant is used within NASA centers and directorates include Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Langley Research Center (LRC), Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Glenn Research Center (GRC), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Lunar simulant manufacture is important to researchers and engineering firms outside of NASA including but not limited to Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Research (LASP - University of Colorado), National Lunar Science Institute, Colorado School of Mines, Ceralink , Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, and Honeybee Robotics.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
ZAP has developed several non-NASA commercial applications using the process ZAP has developed and use for the manufacturing of lunar simulant components. Companies in contact with ZAP are excited to apply technology developed for a NASA program to previously unsolved industrial problems and opportunities. Commercial applications include precious metal recovery (extractive metallurgy), carbon-free thermal and chemical processing, industrial abrasives, and mineral liberation/separation. ZAP's commercial focus and development of cross-over technologies will leverage NASA's investment in this effort to commercial customers.

Abrasives: It is well known that the lunar regolith is very abrasive. This presents a problem for engineers designing equipment for use on the moon, but an opportunity for applications that use abrasives.

Metal Recovery
Traditional extraction methods are not applicable for some ores because of the integrated nature of the material with the crystal. The initial results appear to be very successful. ZAP's lunar agglutinate reactor is working to liberate metal. The success of this extractive metallurgy project is commercially and scientifically exciting.

High Temperature Glass Melting
Using the technology applied to the lunar simulant development program, ZAP has been melting Basalt material for industrial customers.

All of these commercial applications will benefit from the innovations that will be delivered from this project.

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.)
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)
In Situ Manufacturing
Processing Methods
Resource Extraction
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12