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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Dust Separation and Measurement System for Mars ISRU Applications, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

NASA has recognized that in future exploration and human missions to Mars, the problem of Martian dust contaminating gas processing systems and human habitats will need to be solved. The dust content of Martian atmosphere is only sparsely known, and in particular the variation over the surface and the dust particle size distribution are largely unknown. Creare proposes to develop a compact, integrated dust separation and measurement system that is capable of measuring dust size distribution and removing 99% of all dust particles larger than 0.3 micron. The two-stage separator is robust and scalable, combining the strengths of inertial and electrostatic precipitators with a novel Mie scattering sizing sensor. The dust separation and measurement system will be able to integrate with and handle flow requirements as defined for the NASA Mars 2020 Announcement of Opportunity Demonstration Oxygen Production Plant and shows a clear development path to future in situ resource utilization (ISRU) production plants. In Phase I, Creare proposes to develop, design, and test key components of the design in the lab to determine their feasibility for Martian operation. In Phase II, Creare plans to develop and deliver a prototype compact, integrated dust separation and measurement system. More »

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