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uG-LilyPond - Floating Plant Pond for Microgravity

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC18C0224
Agency Tracking Number: 170124
Amount: $749,998.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T7
Solicitation Number: STTR_17_P2
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-09-14
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-09-13
Small Business Information
5455 Spine Rd, Ste ME
Boulder, CO 80301-3312
United States
DUNS: 080138735
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Christine Escobar
 (720) 309-8475
Business Contact
 Christine Escobar
Phone: (720) 309-8475
Research Institution
 Regents of the University of Colorado
3100 Marine Street
Boulder, CO 80303-1058
United States

 Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)

Regenerative space life support will undoubtedly require food production, to recover nutrients and close the carbon loop in a spacecraft habitat.  Aquatic plants have enormous potential for edible biomass production but have been little studied as potential food crops for space applications.  The proposed μG-LilyPond™ is an autonomous environmentally controlled floating plant cultivation system for use in microgravity.  The μG-LilyPond™ concept expands the types of crops that can be grown on a spacecraft to include aquatic floating plants as a nutritional supplement for the crew diet.  Innovative features include low maintenance, increased reliability with passive water delivery, volume efficiency, full life cycle support via vegetative propagation, close canopy lighting, and crop versatility.  Biomass produced will be used primarily as food but could also be used for biofuel or fertilizer.  This collaborative effort between Space Lab Technologies, University of Colorado, and Refcon Services, Inc. will combine Phase II design, analysis, prototype fabrication, and testing to demonstrate technology function and prepare for flight prototype demonstration in the space environment.  Phase II will begin with the Phase I conceptual design and analyses and culminate in the detailed design, fabrication and testing of an integrated engineering demonstration unit (EDU).  In addition, we will develop a flight prototype of the water transport loop, built to operate in a relevant microgravity environment, for use in future flight opportunities.  Finally equivalent system mass of the proposed μG-LilyPond™ concept will be established for the detailed EDU design.  Phase I conceptual design and feasibility assessment illuminated several important focus areas for Phase II, and well positioned our team to accomplish our proposed objectives.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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