Task Book: Biological & Physical Sciences Division and Human Research Program
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Project Title:  Dual Use Packaging Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2009 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 02/11/2009  
End Date: 03/01/2011  
Task Last Updated: 06/19/2009 
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Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Sadler, George  Ph.D. / PROVE IT 
Address:  14514 Creek Crossing Drive 
Orland Park , IL 60467-6046 
Phone: (708) 441-9781  
Congressional District: 13 
Organization Type: INDUSTRY 
Organization Name: PROVE IT 
Joint Agency:  
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NNX09CB05C 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Woolford, Barbara  
Center Contact: 218-483-3701 
Solicitation / Funding Source: SBIR Phase II 
Grant/Contract No.: NNX09CB05C 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:  
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:  
No. of PhD Degrees:  
No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Food:Risk of Performance Decrement and Crew Illness Due to an Inadequate Food System
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) Food-03:SHFH We need to identify the methods, technologies, and requirements that will deliver a food system that provides adequate safety, nutrition, and acceptability for proposed long-duration Design Reference Mission operations. (IRP Rev G) (Previous title: AFT4-What technologies can be developed that will efficiently balance appropriate vehicle resources such as mass, volume, and crew time during exploration missions with the safety, nutrition, and acceptability requirements?)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: change in end date per HRP Master Task List information dated 1/11/2012 (Ed., 2/27/2012)

Task Description: NASA calculation that over a kg of packaging waste are generated per day for a 6 member crew. This represents over 1.5 metric tons of waste during a Mars mission. Currently, these wastes are considered a disposal burden. However, packaging can designed to have valuable secondary uses which can lighten other payloads. These include: Light generation, electricity generation, storage structures, building materials, and raw material for hardware items. These benefits are not readily available in NASA's foil laminate structures used for packaging. Other materials more amenable to secondary uses lack the moisture and oxygen barrier essential to achieve NASA's shelf life targets for foods. This project controls moisture electro-thermally and oxygen electrochemically in an overwrap container. Once oxygen and moisture are managed in the overwrap, individual packaging can be made of virtually any material and the broad potential of secondary packaging becomes available. Phase I developed the tools and mathematical equations necessary to construct and model the performance of the overwrap system. Phase II research will combine these tools to create a working overwrap system capable of achieving NASA's shelf life requirements and providing valuable secondary uses to packaging wastes. As a result of this research, spent packaging will no longer be a waste burden, but will become a valuable mission asset.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: The overpack system with secondary applications parallels military needs. The US Navy seeks strategies for reducing packaging wastes and the Army has need for lightweight packages which are more adaptable to field preparation. The proposal explores space savings innovations such as magnetic induction heating and laser fabrication using spent packaging. These have broad application across the space program and throughout the military.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Proposed packaging innovations have commercial, military and environmental application. Strategies for imparting biochemical activity to packaging (including antimicrobial, oxygen scavenging, and antioxidant properties) have broad food and pharmaceutical applications. The military also relies on foil laminate containers. Innovations of this research would provide packaging to the military which are lighter in weight and which are more amenable to field preparation. Seeking strategies to build value into packaging waste is in itself environmentally responsible. However, as world environmental regulations become stricter, new markets will open for technologies which address packaging wastes.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2009 
Task Progress: New project for FY2009. Reporting not required for this SBIR Phase 2 project.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: )  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 None in FY 2009