Miniature Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer for In-Situ Resource Utilization

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX13CK01C
Agency Tracking Number: 114996
Amount: $697,655.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
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) 640-2340
Business Contact
 James Barry
Title: Business Official
Phone: (603) 640-2487
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. NASA's Regolith & Environmental Science and Oxygen & Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) mission's objectives are to analyze the distribution of volatile compounds in the lunar surface and to demonstrate ISRU operation on the moon. To support ISRU activities, NASA requires the development of a compact, lightweight gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS) instrument that can quantify volatile gases with masses below atomic number 70 released by sample heating. 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 GC/MS system capable of detecting, identifying, and quantifying 100 ppm to 100%-level concentrations of relevant compounds having mass less than 70 amu. Our GC/MS design is based on components that can be space qualified using techniques proven on numerous past space hardware development projects. During the Phase I project, we proved our design with benchtop testing, and in Phase II, we plan to build a brassboard version of our GC/MS that will meet the important performance requirements for the intended application.

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

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