NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 X3.04-9372
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Cabin Ventilation and Thermal Control
PROPOSAL TITLE: Water Recovery for Regenerative Life Support Systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Creare, Inc.
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 3116
(603) 643-3800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael G Izenson
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 3116
(603) 643-3800 Extension :2405

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Thermal and environmental control systems for future exploration spacecraft must meet challenging requirements for efficient operation and conservation of resources. Regenerative CO2 removal systems are attractive for these missions because they do not use consumable CO2 absorbers. However, these systems also absorb and vent water to space along with the carbon dioxide. We propose to develop an innovative water recovery system that minimizes water lost from regenerative CO2 control systems without the need for low-temperature condensing heat exchangers. This approach addresses the need for water recovery systems in long-duration missions, reduces the need for consumables by enabling use of state-of-the-art regenerative CO2 removal systems, and minimizes demands on the spacecraft thermal control system. In Phase I we proved the feasibility of our approach through proof-of-concept tests that demonstrated efficient water recovery from a compact exchanger with low pressure losses. Trade-off studies using our mass transfer analysis models have yielded a design for a full-size prototype that meets all the requirements for service on future spacecraft. In Phase II we will build the prototype and measure its performance in ground tests of a full-scale, regenerative CO2 removal system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Creare's water recovery system will enable exploration spacecraft to undertake long-duration missions while conserving water. Our system will not increase the size of the spacecraft thermal management system, and will enable use of state-of-the-art, pressure-swing absorption systems for CO2 removal. Applications include crewed exploration vehicles and manned surface rovers. The unit is compact, typically weighs less than one day's worth of water loss, and adds negligible air pressure drop to the cabin ventilation circuit. Combined with Creare's nonventing lithium chloride absorber/radiator (LCAR) technology, a similar system could be used in future EVA suits to prevent water from being vented along with carbon dioxide.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Creare's water recovery system can be used in terrestrial fuel cell power systems, where water management is a critical balance of plant function. It will be particularly useful for vehicles powered by PEM fuel cells, where compact size and light weight are critical requirements.

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.)
Active Systems
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)

Form Generated on 09-03-12 17:04