NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X7.01-9631
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Robotic Systems for Human Exploration
PROPOSAL TITLE: Production of Mature Highland Lunar Regolith Simulant

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811 - 1558
(256) 851-7653

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Daniel Butts
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811 - 1558
(256) 851-7653 Extension :102

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
As NASA considers manned and/or unmanned return missions to the Moon and beyond, it is imperative that high fidelity lunar soil simulants be developed in order to accurately evaluate the life span and efficiency of any equipment exposed to the lunar surface. One of the significant limitations of current simulants is the lack of certain constituents, such as agglutinates. These constituents, which can account for up to 60% by volume of a mature regolith soil, are widely regarded as components that must be present in any high fidelity simulant. Recently, Plasma Processes, Inc. has developed a process to produce Mare agglutinate simulant particles from JSC-1A feedstock. Characterization has confirmed that these agglutinate simulants have features (e.g. morphology, chemistry, crystalline phase content, nano-phase Fe) similar to actual lunar agglutinates. When mixed with the JSC-1A root simulant in the correct proportions, the combination results in a high fidelity derivative Mare simulant. However, considering approximately 87% of the lunar surface consists of Highland regolith composition, mature Highland simulants are also of great interest. Hence, the primary technical objective of the proposed Phase I effort is to extend the technology employed to enhance the fidelity of Mare simulants to the production of high fidelity derivative Highland simulants.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
High fidelity lunar simulant for validating life span and efficiency of processes and equipment exposed to the lunar surface.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Technology employed is can be used in the production of powder metallurgy products, protective coatings, catalysts, composite additives, sintering aids, microfiltration membranes, rocket fuel additives, rocket motors, electronics, fuel cell technologies.

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.)
Processing Methods
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12