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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Multi-Use Solar Thermal System for Oxygen Production from Lunar Regolith [7227-570], Phase II

Completed Technology Project

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Multi-Use Solar Thermal System for Oxygen Production from Lunar Regolith [7227-570], Phase II
We propose to develop an innovative solar thermal system for oxygen production from lunar regolith. In this system solar radiation is collected by the concentrator array which transfers the concentrated solar radiation to the optical waveguide (OW) transmission line made of low loss optical fibers. The OW transmission line directs the solar radiation to the thermal receiver for processing of lunar regolith for oxygen production. Key features of the proposed system are: 1. Highly concentrated solar radiation (~ 4×103suns) can be transmitted via the flexible OW transmission line directly to the thermal receiver for oxygen production from lunar regolith; 2. Power scale-up of the system can be achieved by incremental increase of the number of concentrator units; 3. The system can be autonomous, stationary or mobile, and easily transported and deployed on the lunar surface; and 4. The system can be applied to a variety of oxygen production processes. The proposed Phase II program consists of the following tasks: Task-1: Develop an engineering prototype of the solar thermal system. Task-2: Integrate the solar thermal system with the carbothermal process reactor for utility demonstration and performance evaluation. Task-3: Improve the key components to the level acceptable for a space-based operational system. More »

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