NASA SBIR 2020-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Information

Proposal Number:
20-2- H4.01-5668
Phase 1 Contract #:
80NSSC20C0553
Subtopic Title:
Exploration Portable Life Support System Component Challenges
Proposal Title:
Advanced Multipollutant Trace Contaminant Sorbents for the Exploration Portable Life Support System

Small Business Concern

   
Firm:
          
Advanced Fuel Research, Inc.
          
   
Address:
          
87 Church Street, East Hartford, CT 06108
          
   
Phone:
          
(860) 528-9806                                                                                                                                                                                
          

Principal Investigator:

   
Name:
          
Marek Wojtowicz
          
   
E-mail:
          
marek@AFRinc.com
          
   
Address:
          
87 Church Street, CT 06108 - 3720
          
   
Phone:
          
(860) 528-9806                                                                                                                                                                                
          

Business Official:

   
Name:
          
Michael Serio
          
   
E-mail:
          
mserio@AFRinc.com
          
   
Address:
          
87 Church Street, CT 06108 - 3720
          
   
Phone:
          
(860) 528-9806                                                                                                                                                                                
          

Summary Details:

   
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :                                                                                                                                                          
Begin: 4
End: 6
          
          
     
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):

This proposal addresses the fabrication and testing of structured (monolithic), carbon-based multipollutant trace-contaminant (TC) sorbents for the space-suit Exploration Portable Life Support System (xPLSS) used in Extravehicular Activities (EVAs). The proposed innovations: (1) multipollutant trace-contaminant control; (2) thin-walled, structured carbon TC sorbents fabricated using three-dimensional (3D) printing; and (3) the patented low-temperature oxidation step used for the treatment of carbon sorbents. The overall objective: to develop a multipollutant trace-contaminant removal system that is rapidly vacuum-regenerable and that possesses substantial weight, size, and power-requirement advantages with respect to the current state of the art.  The Phase 1 project successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of monolithic carbon sorbents derived from 3D-printed PEEK polymer with respect to ammonia, formaldehyde, and methyl mercaptan removal at concentrations close to 7-day Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentration (SMAC) limits. The sorbent monoliths were also evaluated with respect to carbon-monoxide control, and a path to multipollutant TC control was defined for future R&D. The Phase 2 objectives: (1) to optimize sorbent properties and performance; (2) to design, construct, test, and deliver to NASA two full-scale TC sorbent prototypes; (3) to integrate the full-scale TC Control System (TCCS) with the xPLSS design, and particularly with the Rapid-Cycle Amine (RCA) swing bed for CO2 control. This work will be accomplished in five tasks: (1) Sorbent Development and Optimization; (2) Subscale Sorbent Testing; (3) Full-Scale Prototype Development; (4) Full-Scale Prototype Integration with xPLSS/RCA and Testing; and (5) System Evaluation. The main focus will be full-scale TCCS development and its integration with xPLSS/RCA (Tasks 3 and 4).

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

The main application of the proposed technology would be in spacecraft life-support systems, mainly in extravehicular activities (space suit), but after modifications also in cabin-air revitalization.

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

The developed technology may find applications in air-revitalization on board US Navy submarines, in commercial and military aircraft, in the future air-conditioning systems for green buildings, and in advanced scuba-diving systems.

          
          
     
Duration:     24
          
          

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