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SBIR/STTR

Multifunctional Dust Filters for Crew Cabin Air Purification, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

In the crew compartment of a spacecraft, dust that is self-generated or from other activities pose a respiratory irritant, especially within a small, confined space. Therefore air cabin filtration technologies should be improved for future spacecrafts to efficiently remove the range of particulate matter sizes (nano to micron size). It is also desirable to have the new particulate air filters that can be efficiently remove volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and self-regenerated. This will reduce the logistics burden of carrying additional replacement filters on-board. In the proposed Phase I effort, smart fibrous filters with both particle and VOC removal capacities will be developed. The new particulate filters will be much more efficient than the current HEPA filters and also capable of self-regenerating. The Phase I effort will focus on demonstration of the 'proof of concept' that fibrous filters can filter and remove the ultrafine (<0.5 μm) particulates and destructively adsorb organic chemicals such as acetone. The technical approach will also involve regeneration of filters using a low-energy process. In the Phase II project, selective filtration membranes will be designed and modified to fit the NASA's current cabin air filtration systems. More »

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