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In-Space Vacuum Deposition Joining

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0350
Agency Tracking Number: 204852
Amount: $124,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: Z3
Solicitation Number: SBIR_20_P1
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-08-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-03-01
Small Business Information
5000 Gulf Freeway, Exploration Research Park, Bldg 4
Houston, TX 77023-4634
United States
DUNS: 081060079
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Alex Ignatiev
 (713) 202-6043
Business Contact
 Elliot Carol
Phone: (646) 455-8382
Research Institution

Lunar Resources proposes a novel dual-use in-space deposition process tonbsp;join/bondnbsp;materials via in-space vacuum deposition. Developed during the WSF program, in-space vacuum deposition technology isnbsp;currently considered at TRL 8 andnbsp;consists of depositing materials atomic layer-by-atomic layer to fabricate functional thin films in the vacuum of space.nbsp;The concept consists of depositing a thick film layer of an element onto a material(s) through a physical vacuum deposition process in the vacuum of space. Considering the constraints for space flight (mass, volume, power, etc.) Lunar Resources has developed a specialized thermal deposition process to deposit coatings on-orbit which would be ideal for joining as it is low-power and is deployed by an autonomous, low-mass, space deposition system. The thermal deposition process coats the substrate (in this case the material to be joined) creating a bond between the substrate/material and the deposited coating. Lunar Resources has adapted the traditional terrestrial thermal deposition process to account for microgravity and overspray.nbsp;The space deposition systemnbsp;is able to create thick-films (gt;10microns) to join materials for bonding, repairing or replacing applications. and able to deposit a wide range of elements with vaporization temperatures up to 2000 oC. For joining applications, Lunar Resources foresees the benefit to deposit numerous coatings depending on the required strength of the bond and its application. For example, for joining two joints that will not need to be unjoined, Lunar Resources could deposit a nbsp;thick titanium coating. However, for joints that may need to be replaced or whose lifetimes are less than the structures which they are joining, we could deposit a lower melting temperature material such as indium to be able to unjoin and replace the joint by melting the deposited joining coating.nbsp;

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

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