Lunar Soil Particle Separator

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2009
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX09CD20P
Award Id:
90619
Agency Tracking Number:
084172
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
11111 W. 8th Avenue, Unit A, Lakewood, CO, 80215
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
120561456
Principal Investigator:
Mark Berggren
Principal Investigator
(303) 980-0231
mberggren@pioneerastro.com
Business Contact:
Robert Zubrin
Business Official
(303) 980-0890
zubrin@aol.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
The Lunar Soil Particle Separator (LSPS) is an innovative method to beneficiate soil prior to in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). The LSPS improves ISRU oxygen yield by boosting the concentration of ilmenite or other iron-oxide bearing materials found in lunar soils. LSPS particle size separations can be performed to improve gas-solid interactions and reactor flow dynamics. LSPS mineral separations can be used to alter the sintering characteristics of lunar soil. The LSPS can eventually be used to separate and concentrate lunar minerals useful for manufacture of structural materials, glass, and chemicals. The LSPS integrates an initial centrifugal particle size separation with magnetic, gravity, and/or electrostatic separations. The LSPS centrifugal separation method overcomes the reduced efficiency of conventional particle sieving in reduced gravity. Feed conditioning, such as charge neutralization, can be incorporated into the LSPS to release and disperse surface fines prior to particle separations. The conceptual LSPS hardware design integrates many individual unit operations to reduce system mass and power requirements. The LSPS is applicable to ISRU feed processing as well as robotic prospecting to characterize soils over a wide region on the Moon. The LSPS is scalable and is amenable to testing and development under simulated lunar environmental conditions.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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