NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-2 H3.02-9063
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Environmental Monitoring and Fire Protection for Spacecraft Autonomy
PROPOSAL TITLE: A First Response Crew Mask for Ammonia, Hydrazine and Combustion Products

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
TDA Research, Inc.
12345 West 52nd Avenue
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 - 1916
(303) 422-7819

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Gokhan Alptekin
12345 West 52nd Avenue
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 - 1916
(303) 940-2349

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
John D. Wright
12345 West 52nd Avenue
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 - 1916
(303) 940-2300

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Environmental Monitoring and Fire Protection for Spacecraft Autonomy is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The increasing frequency of International Space Station (ISS) egress operations contaminates the spacecraft environment with propellant residues (such as anhydrous hydrazine) and their decomposition by-products, as well as coolants such as ammonia and Freon. NH3 and N2H4 have a 24 hour Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentration (SMAC) of 7 ppm and 0.3 ppm, respectively.

TDA Research Inc. is developing a new adsorbent that can remove these contaminants to sub ppmv concentrations with high activity and capacity. The sorbent can be integrated as a thin layer into an existing cartridge used in the ISS first response crew mask; the new media will greatly extend the capability to protect against the NH3 and hydrazine for extended duration under high contaminant challenges, without undermining the ability of the cartridge to filter out other combustion by-products.

In Phase I, we successfully completed all proof-of-concept demonstrations at the bench-scale elevating the TRL to 3. The new adsorbent can provide over 1,400 minutes of protection when challenged with 50 ppmv NH3 and over 450 hrs with 1 ppmv anhydrous N2H4, even at a bed aspect ratio as low as 0.1 and at gas-solid contact times as low as 0.11 sec. The NH3 and N2H4 capacity of the sorbent exceeds 1.8% wt. and 1.4% wt., respectively, with bed outlet concentrations maintained at less than 40 ppbv.

In Phase II, we will continue to optimize the sorbent formulations and scale-up the production. We will design and fabricate full-scale experimental prototype cartridges at TDA to support demonstrations in an environmental chamber using a breathing apparatus. Based on the results, we will design and fabricate high fidelity cartridges based on the flight qualified ISS Fire Recovery Respirator Cartridge and complete high fidelity demonstrations in an environmental chamber to fully demonstrate its capability (non-human testing at TRL 6). These will be provided to NASA for additional testing and demonstrations.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The main product of our research of our research to NASA is a highly capable cartridge to be used in a first response crew mask to protect the astronaut against NH3 and hydrazine, as well as other combustion by-products. The new cartridge will extend the capabilities of the current cartridge used at the ISS and provide further protection to the crew person against an ammonia and/or hydrazine challenge.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There is a potential commercial opportunity for our technology in commercial safety devices and personal protection systems. We estimated a total market in the U.S. and Europe could exceed 250,000 units per year, assuming an average shelf life of two years for the respirator. The new adsorbent may also find applications in preventing "ammonia slip" from Selective Catalytic Reduction based NOx Emission Control Units used in power plants.

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.)
Fire Protection
Protective Clothing/Space Suits/Breathing Apparatus

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