NASA STTR 2017 Solicitation
FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY
|PROPOSAL NUMBER:||171 T7.02-9876|
|RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:||Space Exploration Plant Growth|
|PROPOSAL TITLE:||uG-LilyPond - Floating Plant Pond for Microgravity|
|SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC):||RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI):|
|NAME:||Space Lab Technologies, LLC||NAME:||The Regents of the University of Colorado|
|STREET:||PO Box 448||STREET:||3100 Marine Street, 572 UCB|
|STATE/ZIP:||CO 80471 - 9902||STATE/ZIP:||CO 80309 - 0572|
|PHONE:||(720) 309-8475||PHONE:||(303) 492-6221|
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
PO Box 448
Pinecliffe, CO 80471 - 9902
CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
PO Box 448
Pinecliffe, CO 80471 - 9902
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Space Exploration Plant Growth 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 proposed μG-LilyPond is an autonomous environmentally controlled floating plant cultivation system for use in microgravity. The μG-LilyPond concept expands the types of crops that can be grown on a spacecraft in a flexible, efficient, low maintenance package. The μG-LilyPond features several innovations relative to state of the art, including passive water and nutrient delivery to floating plants, volume efficiency, minimal time for maintenance, full life-cycle (seed to seed) support, and crop flexibility. Small floating macrophytes like Duckweed and Azolla are 100% edible (with no inedible biomass), nutritious (high in protein), exceptionally fast growing, and able to thrive in nutrient rich wastewater. The μG-LilyPond concept aims to maximize production of these tiny plants in a very small volume, for use as a crew dietary supplement, atmospheric revitalization component (CO2 reduction to O2), and potentially a metabolic wastewater treatment facility. The goal of this Phase I project is to develop a conceptual design for a reliable, flexible, and efficient floating plant production system for use in microgravity. Phase 1 Objectives are to 1. Determine feasibility of passive water delivery to floating aquatic plants in microgravity; 2. Determine feasibility for continuous autonomous biomass harvest and water (effluent) extraction; 3. Determine feasibility of autonomous floating plant propagation; 4. Define autonomous environmental monitoring and control methods to support candidate crops; 5. Estimate cultivation system efficiency, in terms of production capacity versus equivalent system mass; and 6. Plan for future development of a fully functional flight unit. This collaborative effort between Space Lab Technologies, LLC and the Bioastronautics research group from the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department will combine modeling, analysis, and engineering to demonstrate technology feasibility.
POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The complete μG-LilyPond? system will provide supplemental fresh food, atmosphere revitalization, and potentially wastewater treatment for microgravity spacecraft habitats, at reduced cost for infrastructure, power, consumables, and crew time. The design can be easily adapted to a low gravity environment for planetary surface habitats.
POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
1) A commercial Earth-based μG-LilyPond? system could be made available to populations in water and nutrient scarce regions or otherwise harsh environments that would benefit from potable water and nutrient recovery from waste streams, and the integration with indoor aquaponics systems (fish production). A simplified, less costly design would be appropriate for commercial production targeted to in-home use, where operating conditions are less severe than in space.
2) μG-LilyPond? sensor suite and control software would be commercially beneficial to aquaponics facilities by improving yield while reducing economic cost of production. Service to aquaponics companies would include customized design and installation relevant to their specific facility needs and existing infrastructure. Space Lab will initially seek local Colorado aquaponics companies for initial demonstration and then expand to national or even international markets.
3) By recovering nutrients from wastewater and rapidly growing biomass, μG-LilyPond? may be commercially attractive for biofuel production from municipal waste. SpaceLab will approach both private and public Colorado based entities that may be interested in commercial wastewater treatment and biofuel production applications, using an environmentally controlled volume efficient system.
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.)
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Crop Production (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)