Miniature Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer for In-Situ Resource Utilization

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX12CF09P
Agency Tracking Number: 114996
Amount: $124,967.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: X1.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
NH, Hanover, NH, 03755-3116
DUNS: 072021041
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Sorensen
 Principal Investigator
 (603) 643-3800
Business Contact
 James Barry
Title: President
Phone: (603) 643-3800
Research Institution
In situ resource utilization (ISRU) is essential for several of NASA's future flagship missions. Currently envisioned ISRU plants include production of oxygen from hydrogen reduction of lunar regolith and extraction of water from Martian regolith or asteroid material. These ISRU processes require heating of the regolith to high reaction temperatures. To support ISRU activities, NASA requires the development of a compact, lightweight gas chromatograph?mass spectrometer (GC-MS) instrument that can quantify volatile gases released by sample heating below atomic number 70. The instrument must also be designed to withstand exposure to the release of HF, HCl, or Hg that may result from heating regolith samples to high temperatures. Creare proposes to design, build, and test a compact, lightweight gas chromatograph - mass spectrometer (GC-MS) system, capable of detecting, identifying, and quantifying ppm to 100%-level concentrations of relevant compounds having mass less than 100 amu. Our GC-MS design is based on components that have been previously or can easily be space-qualified using techniques proven on numerous past space hardware development projects. During the Phase I project, we will prove our design with benchtop testing, and in Phase II, we plan to build engineering model versions of our GC-MS.

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

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