CNT-Based Smart Electrostatic Filters for Capturing Nanoparticulate Lunar Regolith

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2007

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Agave Biosystems, Inc.
P.O. Box 100
Ithaca, NY 14850
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

The abrasive, reactive, and ubiquitous nature of lunar regolith created significant and serious problems during the Apollo moon missions. In this Phase I, Agave BioSystems, in collaboration with Dr. Randy Vander Wal of the Universities Space Research Association, propose to develop next generation smart filters using novel carbon nanotube (CNT)-based structures in electrostatic devices. Since CNTs have extremely high surface area, can function without the mass transfer limitations of traditional filtrations systems, and they can be charged to emit very high charge densities, they constitute an ideal material for integration into spacecraft air handling systems as electrostatic filtration components. The overall goal of this program is to build upon the unique structural and electronic nature of carbon nanotubes to create novel smart filters. By synthesizing the CNTs in situ on solid mesh supports and integrating them into a novel electrostatic particle collection unit, we aim to create novel filtration media capable of removing airborne lunar regolith from spacecraft airlock and cabin atmospheres.