NASA SBIR 2019-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 19-2- S3.06-3881
 Thermal Control Systems
 Surviving the Lunar Night Using Metal Oxidation Warming Systems
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Masten Space Systems, Inc.
1570 Sabovich Street
Mojave, CA 93501
(888) 488-8455

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Matthew Kuhns
1570 Sabovich Street
Mojave, CA 93501 - 1681
(216) 308-6111

BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tristan Cembrinksi
1570 Sabovich Street
Mojave, CA 93501 - 1681
(908) 400-1150

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 4
End: 7
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Masten’s proposed innovation is a warming solution that allows spacecraft systems to survive the lunar night and operate continuously in shaded lunar regions. This metal oxidation warming system (MOWS) employs moderate-temperature chemical reactions to deliver heat for thermal control with order-of-magnitude greater specific energy than battery-based approaches. Similar chemical systems have been used terrestrially, but MOWS for spacecraft systems have not been demonstrated. This system will enable flight computers, payloads, and other components to survive the lunar night, and can be deactivated during the lunar day to prevent overheating. A warming solution using MOWS is low-mass, dust-proof, non-radioactive, and has high system specific energy. In this Phase II effort, Masten will develop a MOWS demonstration unit intended to universally interface with NASA or commercial payloads. Masten will mature the design of this system through multiple Design and Analysis Cycles (DACs) interspersed with component-level and integrated testing. This work will include development of a robust and autonomous control system for MOWS, maturation of components to improve stability and specific energy, and payload interface design. Masten will then manufacture and test a high-fidelity MOWS demonstration unit, which will be delivered to NASA for additional integration and testing work.

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

NASA systems operating on the lunar surface that use MOWS will: 

  1. Expand the scope of lunar missions for long-duration science.
  2. Enable survival through the lunar night and operation in permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) or other areas with limited sunlight exposure like the lunar poles.
  3. Improve thermal performance with decreased weight over current state-of-the-art solutions to survive the lunar night.
  4. Save ~$50M+ in direct costs compared to a flight proven nuclear solution or ~$10M+ in mass penalties compared to available battery solutions.
Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

As the cislunar domain becomes an increasingly populated environment, the demand for technologies, like MOWS, that enable extended and persistent missions will grow. MOWS increases mission durations by 100-1,000% or more; at a low multi-million dollar cost point, MOWS may be an attractive option for lunar stakeholders that desire increased mission durations. 

Duration: 18

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