NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 H1.01-9186
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Regolith ISRU for Mission Consumable Production
PROPOSAL TITLE: Task-Specific Asteroid Simulants for Ground Testing

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Deep Space Industries Inc.
18711 South Egret Bay Boulevard, #603
Houston, TX 77058 - 3826
(703) 623-9616

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. John S. Lewis
3002 Rye Court
Anacortes, WA 98221 - 3219
(360) 873-8781

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. David Gump
1350 Beverly Road #1221
Houston, VA 22101 - 3934
(703) 623-9616

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Regolith ISRU for Mission Consumable Production 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)
We will design, prototype, and test a variety of asteroid simulants needed to validate most aspects of asteroid ISRU processes. These include physical simulants for excavation, transfer, and preparation (including comminution); chemical/mineralogical/volatile simulants for processing tests such as volatiles extraction, metals extraction, and oxygen production; and simulants to evaluate scientific and commercial instrumentation.
The need for task-specific asteroid simulants is illustrated by the history of ill-designed and ill-applied lunar simulants, and current practices for asteroid simulants, which are marked by ad-hoc improvisation that frequently results in an inability to compare results among experiments or reliably repeat experiments for confirmation.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Simulants are needed in order to adequately test equipment prior to launch to an actual asteroid. The simulant may need to adequately reproduce the physical characteristics of an asteroid to validate sampling techniques, anchoring methods, or to test hazards such as dust production. A simulant may need to reproduce the appearance and spectrum of an asteroid, in any of several wavelength ranges. It may need to replicate the mineralogy and possibly the volatiles content to test related instrumentation.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Asteroid mining is a new commercial application that begs for appropriate asteroid simulants. Companies such as DSI need to test instrumentation for proximity operations, mineralogical assay, excavation techniques and equipment, volatiles extraction, metals and oxygen production, and hazards (such as dust) mitigation.

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.)
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