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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Selective Photoinitiated Electrophoretic Separator, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Selective Photoinitiated Electrophoretic Separator, Phase I
To address NASA Johnson Space Center needs for gas separation and collection technology for lunar in-situ resource utilization, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Selective Photoinitiated Electrophoretic Separator (SPIES) System, based on selective photoionization and electrophoresis. This approach incorporates a novel system design for selective photoionization for electrophoresis of selected gases, for electrophoretic processing, to meet the NASA requirement for equipment with low launch mass to separate hydrogen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, helium, water, ammonia, and methane. The SPIES system launch weight and energy consumption will be 33% of those of the current distilling/purification systems because it eliminates the requirements for consumables and downstream distillation equipment. While requiring minimal system maintenance, this system will operate without consumables, and will be easily reconfigurable for different ISRU scenarios. In Phase I POC will establish the feasibility of the SPIES system by assembling a proof-of-concept prototype and demonstrating separation of a simulated lunar volatile, reducing development risk in Phase II. In Phase II POC plans to optimize the SPIES system design and assemble an advanced system prototype that can perform multiple gas separation tasks, enabling NASA to selectively remove and purify a range of gas streams in lunar solar resource prospecting. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.