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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Planetary Volatiles Extractor for In Situ Resource Utilization

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Planetary Volatiles Extractor for In Situ Resource Utilization, Phase I
Under previous SBIR Phase 1, we demonstrated MISME system to TRL 3. This system can be used on Mars, the Moon, as well as Asteroids (a Spider concept with self- anchoring approach was developed). We propose to focus this Phase I on the two approaches of water extraction: Sniffer and Corer. At the end of the Phase 1, we will trade all 3: Sniffer, Corer, MISME and select one for further development in Phase 2. After the Sniffer and the Corer tests, a trade study will be conducted to compare Sniffer vs Corer vs MISME approaches. The trade study will include figure of merits (e.g. extraction efficiency etc), potential for scaling production up, easy of deploying on more than one planetary body, as well as mission implementation challenges and risks. During this time we will also work closely with our COTR to determine mission preferences. The end result will be selection of the best approach. During this trade study we will also consider different properties of planetary regoliths as well as environmental conditions that would affect excavation and processing (e.g. poorly sorted particle size distribution and agglutinates on the Moon which make regolith very cohesive, perchlorates and clays on Mars which make soil very sticky etc). More »

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