Vapor Hydrogen Peroxide Sterilization System for Contamination Control

Period of Performance: 06/10/2016 - 12/09/2016

$125K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Reactive Innovations, LLC
2 Park Drive Unit 4
Westford, MA 01886
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

NASA mission planners continue to develop plans for investigating celestial bodies including Europa, Enceladus, and Mars for potential life detection. Contamination Control and Planetary Protection requirements focus on both forward and backward contamination from such bodies where a number of acceptable processes have been developed for sterilizing spacecraft hardware and sample return materials. In particular for backward contamination control, NASA has shown that vaporized hydrogen peroxide is an effective method for sterilizing samples and surfaces. However, for long duration exploration missions, stored hydrogen peroxide solutions lose their efficacy. To ensure an effective vaporized hydrogen peroxide sterilization process for return trips, Reactive Innovations, LLC proposes to develop a miniaturized vapor hydrogen peroxide generator that produces this sterilant in situ using only water and DC electrical energy. With this approach, surfaces and sample return materials can be effectively sterilized during sample collection using a NASA approved sterilant.