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Dust Mitigation for the Lunar Surface

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10CB22C
Agency Tracking Number: 084542
Amount: $600,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: X5.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2008
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2010-01-08
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2012-03-31
Small Business Information
9621 Camino Del Sol NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111-1522
United States
DUNS: 859106296
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jan Gosau
 Principal Investigator
 (505) 346-1685
Business Contact
 Susan Switzer
Title: Business Official
Phone: (505) 505-1685
Research Institution

The lunar surface is, to a large extent, covered with a dust layer several meters thick. Known as lunar regolith, it has been produced by meteorite impacts since the formation of a solid lunar surface billions of years ago. The regolith, while promising as a future building material for lunar installations, also poses a hazard in the form of dust clouds being generated by all forms of gas expansions in the high vacuum environment of the lunar surface. This is especially pronounced during spacecraft operations; a single lunar landing and take-off emits the same amount of gas as the whole lunar atmosphere contains. Instruments placed on the moon by the Apollo mission showed marked degradation due to damage from dust released during the lander's takeoff. Since there is no air movement to remove the dust after it is deposited, it is essential that dust is not displaced during everyday operations of a permanent lunar installation.

Adherent Technologies, Inc. (ATI) has over the last decade developed a number of specialty UV-curing resins for NASA applications in space. In the Phase I program, ATI developed a resin and dispenser system to coat large areas of lunar surface around landing pads and atmosphere locks with a thin, dust-stabilizing coating. The coating is UV stable and elastic enough to weather the temperature extremes of a lunar day and night cycle. Special emphasis was given to a low outgassing, solvent-free system that does not contaminate the lunar atmosphere.

In the Phase II program, ATI will optimize the resin formulations from the Phase I for thin film coatings. By comparing those to two-part resin systems, a balance between required properties and needed launch weight can be struck for different mission profiles. The engineering development will concentrate on a lightweight, reliable spray system to be added onto existing NASA moon vehicles.

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

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