NASA STTR 2018-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 18-2- T7.02-2932
 Space Exploration Plant Growth
 MarsOasis - An Efficient Autonomously Controlled Martian Crop Production System
Space Lab Technologies, LLC
5455 Spine Road, Suite ME
Boulder CO  80301 - 3312
Phone: (720) 745-9321
Regents of the University of Colorado
3100 Marine Street, Room 481, 572 UCB
CO  80303 - 1058
Phone: (303) 735-6692

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Christine Escobar
5455 Spine Rd, Ste ME Boulder, CO 80301 - 3312
(720) 309-8475

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Christine Escobar
5455 Spine Rd, Ste ME Boulder, CO 80301 - 3312
(720) 309-8475
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 3
End: 5
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

The MarsOasis™ cultivation system is a versatile, autonomous, environmentally controlled growth chamber for food provision on the Martian surface.  MarsOasis™ integrates a wealth of prior research and Mars growth chamber concepts into a complete system design and operational prototype.  MarsOasis™ includes several innovative features relative to the state of the art space growth chambers.  It can operate on the Mars surface or inside of a habitat.  The growth volume maximizes available growth area and supports a variety of crop sizes, from seeding through harvest.  It utilizes in-situ CO2 from the Mars atmosphere.  Hybrid lighting takes advantage of natural sunlight during warmer periods, and supplemental LEDs during extreme cold, low light, or indoor operation.  Recirculating hydroponics and humidity recycling minimize water loss.  The structure also supports a variety of hydroponic nutrient delivery methods, depending on crop needs.  The growth chamber uses solar power when outside, with deployable solar panels that stow during dust storms or at night.  It can also use power from the habitat or other external sources.  The growth chamber is mobile, so that the crew can easily relocate it.  Autonomous environmental control manages crop conditions reducing crew time for operation. Finally, remote teleoperation allows pre-deployment, prior to crew arrival.   This project directly addresses the NASA STTR technology area T7.02 “Space Exploration Plant Growth” and will be a major step towards closed-loop, sustainable living systems for space exploration.  This collaborative effort between Space Lab Technologies, LLC and the Bioastronautics research group from the CU Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department will culminate in the development of a pilot-scale engineering demonstration unit (EDU) for key components.  Finally, thermal analysis, PAR distribution models, and ESM estimates for the MarsOasis™ concept will be refined, based on EDU testing results.     

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

-MarsOasis™ provides fresh food to spacecraft crew on the Martian surface. 
-The membrane contactor design allows highly selective CO2 capture and regenerable CO2 control in growth chambers, space habitats, or even spacesuits.  
-Selective capture of O2 from plant chamber for delivery to crewed habitat.
-Intelligent hybrid lighting allows mass & volume efficiency for a planetary surface greenhouse.

-Deployable dome material may be used in planetary surface greenhouses, non-load bearing habitat structures, or even a crew solarium.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

-The intelligent hybrid lighting offers significant energy cost savings for vertical farming in greenhouses.
-A simplified version of MarsOasis™ may be attractive as a year-round roof-top garden.
-Finally, the membrane contactor design can be used for greenhouse CO2 enrichment

Duration: 24

Form Generated on 11/19/2019 09:04:26