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SBIR Phase II:Portable Production Process for Icy Regoliths by Vapor Deposition

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2231348
Agency Tracking Number: 2231348
Amount: $996,708.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: SP
Solicitation Number: NSF 22-552
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-07-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2025-06-30
Small Business Information
1130 W Marine View Dr Suite A-2
Everett, WA 98201
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Vincent Roux
 (253) 391-0293
Business Contact
 Vincent Roux
Phone: (253) 391-0293
Research Institution

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will enable research and development on simulated moon surface materials that resemble the icy regolith on the Moon and other worlds by a large number of organizations that currently do not have access to such materials.Making realistic icy regolith simulants is beyond the reach of most organizations because they are produced by replicating the natural formation processes, that is they are produced under conditions that approximate the environment within the ultra-cold, permanently-shadowed areas in the polar regions of the Moon.Utilizing the resource potential of icy regoliths is a key to an enduring human presence in space.Accurate simulants of these materials are necessary to develop the technologies for studying, prospecting, and utilizing this resource.Greater access to these simulants will increase academia/industry partnerships and allow more rapid technology development through higher fidelity testing._x000D_
This SBIR Phase II project provide a location-dependent, custom production method to produce icy regolith simulants in large enough quantities in locations where they are needed by students, researchers, and engineers.Currently, the difficulty and cost of making realistic icy regolith simulants is preventing the higher fidelity testing required to reduce the risk and facilitate the development of in situ extraction technologies for critical resources. These simulants must be produced by re-creating the natural formation processes on the Moon and other worlds as closely as possible under very controlled conditions.Icy simulants must be custom-made and can include hazardous gases so they are expensive and can only be produced slowly in small batches.Cryogenic shipment after production is expensive, difficult, and limited to small amounts. This project will produce new equipment and methods of production that are portable.The solution will also make more realistic and complete icy regolith simulants in quantities large enough for effective research and development to take place.The equipment will be designed to be adaptable and have the capacity to make various physical forms of icy simulants with differing ingredients._x000D_
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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

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