NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X7.01-9537
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Robotic Systems for Human Exploration
PROPOSAL TITLE: Transparent and Flexible Electrodynamic Coating for Particulate Removal

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Poly Adaptive, LLC
11719 Hinson Rd., Ste. 130
Little Rock, AR 72212 - 3471
(501) 907-7117

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Charles R Buhler
407 Imperial Blvd., Unit #16
Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 - 4432
(321) 223-7852

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA has an unmet need for clean, dust-free surfaces critical for many mission applications: solar panels and collectors, aircraft components, optical windows, photographic equipment, and flight suits. However, dust mitigation and removal remains a difficult task, particularly given the nature and morphology of space-born particulate materials and the strong bonds they can develop with any surface. Several mechanical techniques involving shaking and wiping have been devised to address this problem, but these are difficult to implement and expensive to maintain over mission life cycles.
One successful innovation that has been developed and tested for dust removal is the "electrodynamic shield" or EDS. The EDS is composed of inter-digitated, electrically conductive electrodes connected to an AC power supply. The main parameters that govern the efficiency of dust removal are the voltage and the frequency of the AC signal applied to the electrodes. Poly Adaptive, LLC, proposes to investigate the novel application and use of nanoscale materials to address severe limitations of existing EDS designs caused by the metallic electrodes that reduce the amount of radiation reaching solar panels. Successful Phase I results will show the feasibility of an EDS that is transparent and can be placed on top of any surface.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The EDS technology is vital for the success for any ESMD program in which spacecraft or robotic systems are exposed to dusty environments throughout the solar system. Dust agglomeration has been a major deterrent to overall mission duration and has reduced reliability and adversely affected mission success. Since there are no dust-free surfaces within the solar system, it cannot be assumed that, simply because there is no atmosphere, dust cannot deposit onto a surface. Furthermore, regardless of the robotic system sent to a planetary system, there will always be systems or subsystems that cannot tolerate dust, including power subsystem components such as solar panels, optical lenses for instruments and cameras, thermal radiators, batteries, etc. Therefore, there will always be a NASA need for dust removal systems, and the EDS has been proven to be the best technology to address this critical issue.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are a number of potential non-NASA commercial applications for the proposed technology: solar panels, windows, windshields, aircraft coatings, blades, optical devices, pharmaceutical devices and installations, drapes, blinds, household surfaces, engine components, filters, etc. All of these devices could potentially benefit from inherent dust removal systems. An early application of greatest interest to Poly Adaptive, LLC, is to develop electronic dust shied (EDS) systems for commercial solar panels. Since large-scale solar installations usually are located in sun-drenched desert areas where dry weather and winds sweep dust into the air and deposit it onto the surface of solar panels, the need for self-cleaning these surfaces is critical. The EDS technology should certainly be one of the potential candidates to solve this problem.

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.)
Adaptive Optics
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Coatings/Surface Treatments
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Smart/Multifunctional Materials
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Telescope Arrays

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12