NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 H1.01-9764
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Regolith ISRU for Mission Consumable Production
PROPOSAL TITLE: Carbonaceous Asteroid Volatile Recovery (CAVoR) system

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Pioneer Astronautics
11111 West 8th Avenue, Unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 - 5516
(303) 980-0890

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Mark Berggren
11111 W. 8th Ave, Unit A
Lakewood, CO 80401 - 5516
(303) 980-0231

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Robert Zubrin
11111 West 8th Avenue, Unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 - 5516
(303) 980-0890

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

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)
The Carbonaceous Asteroid Volatile Recovery (CAVoR) system extracts water and volatile organic compounds for propellant production, life support consumables, and manufacturing from in-situ resources in support of advanced space exploration. The CAVoR thermally extracts ice and water bound to clays minerals, which is then combined with small amounts of oxygen to gasify organic matter contained in carbonaceous chondrite asteroids. In addition to water, CAVoR produces hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide that comprise precursors to produce oxygen for propellant and breathing gas and to produce organic compounds including fuels and plastics. Additional CAVoR byproducts include nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus compounds that have potential uses as buffer gas for life support and reagents for more-advanced asteroid materials processing. Process residues are thermally stabilized by the CAVoR system, which renders them suitable as bulk shielding, as feed to mineral separation and concentration, or as raw material for manufacture of structural components.

The CAVoR is a low-pressure, non-catalytic, batch process aimed toward maximum recovery of valuable constituents in a difficult operating environment using steel or other light-weight reactor alloys. Key elements of the CAVoR will be systematically developed and demonstrated through a progression from an Earth laboratory environment to experiments in zero-g flights and ISS with appropriate scale up and performance validations leading to implementation on a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA). Hardware designs to achieve required sealing and operating performance over long durations in microgravity will be derived in part from Pioneer's heritage in lunar and Mars ISRU. A combination of modeling and experimentation will be used to overcome the lack of current well-established state-of-the-art process methods and conditions for resource recovery from Near Earth Asteroids.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary application of the Carbonaceous Asteroid Volatile Recovery (CAVoR) system is to provide a compact, high performance apparatus for the extraction and recovery of water and organic matter in support of propellant production, breathing gas, and life support. These capabilities are key to extending NASA's mission beyond low earth orbit to include long-duration space habitation, lunar, and Mars colonization missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The autothermal steam reforming technology proposed for the CAVoR has applications in the recovery of water and energy values from terrestrial wastes and resources. Steam reforming technology has mostly been applied to feed matter containing only small amounts of inorganic matter. The efficient use and recovery of process heat to be established during the CAVoR program will enable non-catalytic autothermal steam reforming technology to be applied to feeds such as contaminated soils, low-grade hydrocarbon feeds, oil shale, un-sorted municipal waste, and other organic materials. By so doing, many otherwise refractory, hazardous compounds can potentially be broken into syngas constituents for use as fuels rather than being incinerated with no economic gain. The relatively low-temperature residue from autothermal steam reforming will be de-agglomerated, rendered sterile, and made suitable for down stream physical separations and byproduct recovery.
The CAVoR technology will be poised for entry into the growing market demand for waste volume reduction and low-grade fuels resources. The device solves a variety of industrial and municipal waste challenges with minimal environmental impact. The primary CAVoR steam reforming technology does not require exotic chemicals or catalysts for the production of water and syngas. Only small amounts of catalysts or sorbents are required for contaminant removal and conventional downstream fuels synthesis.

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.)
In Situ Manufacturing
Processing Methods
Resource Extraction
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37