Request ID:  IAD
Request Title:  Innovative Air Drying Via Lightweight Structure Coating
Submitting Organization:  NASA Johnson Space Center

PROBLEMS TO BE SOLVED:
As NASA ventures from Low Earth Orbit into deep space, longevity and air scrubbing concerns for astronauts increase. Lightweight structures have been developed that can support thin films of coatings for increased air drying. The challenge arises in developing and testing surface coating materials with dehumidifying capabilities for various lightweight structures.

TIME FRAME:
Responses will be reviewed as they’re received and collaborations can begin at any time.

KEY ELEMENTS:
The key elements are: (1) The capacity of adsorbing water vapor and/or carbon dioxide expressed in terms of moles of H2O/CO2 per unit volume of coated sorbent, (2) energy needed to drive off the H2O/CO2, (3) pressure drop of the system, (4) non-recurring costs to manufacture.

PROGRESS SO FAR:
Limited progress has been made in analyzing film-forming surface coating materials. Previous attempts at developing coated structures proved to be significantly less effective than granular packed beds of pelletized sorbents.

WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN TRIED OR CONSIDERED:
Traditional structures similar to lightweight heat exchangers have been coated. The resulting technology can be heated to regeneration temperatures approximately 10 times faster than pelletized sorbents, but the capacity of the coated structures is 100 times less. An order of magnitude improvement is needed in the amount of surface area for a given thermal mass.

TECHNOLOGY READINESS LEVEL:
TRL of existing coated structures is 2 – lab scale.

SIMILAR IMPLEMENTATIONS OF SOLUTION:
NASA has limited insight into implementations or solutions from other fields and would be interested in learning about potential solutions from other industries or applications.

TYPES OF COLLABORATIONS SOUGHT:
NASA seeks unique surface coating ideas and capabilities, knowledge sharing opportunities, or potential partnership arrangements (if applicable). This technology may be of interest to other research such as thin film applications as well as office air conditioning and climate control.

RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR PROJECT:
Depending on the nature of the partnership agreement, NASA may be able to provide access to one or more of the following resources:

  • Standard sorbent characterization capabilities
  • Standard microscopy / materials analysis

HOW WILL COLLABORATION BE FUNDED:
No funds will be available for this project. This announcement is solely for information, planning and collaborative discussion purposes and does not constitute a Request for Proposal (RFP).

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS:
Exercise and fitness, medical, sport specific training like golf, animation and film industry, Department of Defense (DoD), NASA, Biomechanics, and others

POTENTIAL PARTNER BENEFITS:
Partners can potentially benefit from NASA’s unique capabilities, technology advancements, and expertise. In addition, new Intellectual Property (IP) may be created through a collaboration that would enable the partner to commercialize the technology for other applications such as office air conditioning and climate control products. In previous projects, the NASA work fully characterizing a research grade material (as part of the flight hardware qualification process) helped mature the technology of the commercial product being developed.

OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE CREATED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY:
Joint collaboration projects may produce new Intellectual Property (IP) that could jointly be owned by NASA and the Partner. Specific IP terms will be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the legal mechanism selected for the collaboration and the circumstances related to the development of the new IP. Proprietary information shared with the government will be protected in accordance with federal law.

OTHER POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS:
Other potential applications could include using this technology in office air conditioning and climate control products.

RESTRICTIONS OR CONSTRAINTS ON COLLABORATION:
No restrictions are being placed on responses or the type of organization responding. NASA collaborations / partnerships are subject to limitations that relate to safety, security, appropriations, and non-interference with other NASA operations. Partnerships are non-exclusive and NASA cannot provide services through a partnership that would compete with private industry. NASA’s participation may be further restricted by law, regulation, or policy.

SUPPORTING INFORMATION:
None.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR POTENTIAL RESPONDERS:
This announcement is solely for information, planning and collaborative discussion purposes and does not constitute a Request for Proposal (RFP). Since this is a general announcement, no evaluation letters or results will be issued to the respondents. The purpose of this Announcement is to engage prospective partners in dialogue leading to research and development (R&D) knowledge sharing or joint collaboration projects. In selecting potential partners, JSC will assess the best-fit use of its resources consistent with the NASA mission.

DETAILS:
As NASA ventures from Low Earth Orbit into deep space, longevity and air scrubbing concerns for astronauts increase. Lightweight structures have been developed that can support thin films of coatings for increased air drying. The challenge arises in developing and testing surface coating materials with dehumidifying capabilities for various lightweight structures.

The goal is to collaborate on technologies pertaining to surface coatings for lightweight, unobtrusive mobility structures for air separation and scrubbing systems. These technologies could be applied to systems for astronauts venturing into deep space as well as for innovative air conditioning and climate control systems for office buildings.