Miniature Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer for In-Situ Resource Utilization

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$697,655.00
Award Year:
2013
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNX13CK01C
Agency Tracking Number:
114996
Solicitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Topic Code:
X1.01
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Creare, Inc.
NH, Hanover, NH, 03755-3116
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
072021041
Principal Investigator:
Paul Sorensen
Principal Investigator
(603) 640-2340
phs@creare.com
Business Contact:
James Barry
Business Official
(603) 640-2487
contractsmgr@creare.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
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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