7, August 2020

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO10396
Open Date: 04/08/2020
Closing Date: 29/09/2020 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 20.139.07
Prog. Ref.: SpaceResourcE3P P2
Budget Ref.: E/0169-02L – SpaceResourcE3P P2
Tender Type: C
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Products: Ground Segment / Development and Construction of Space Segment / General Support / Laboratories equipment (spectrum analysers, power meters, …)
Technology Domains: Environmental Control & Life Support (ECLS) and In Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) / ISRU / ECLS Consumables / Environmental Control & Life Support (ECLS) and In Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) / ISRU / Fuels
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Dir of Human & Robotic Exploration Prog.
Department: Strategy & Innovation Team
Contract Officer: Guillon-Dumas, Caroline
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 04/08/2020
Update Reason: Tender issue

FFC Cambridge Cells Procurement Project aims to create a new and unique research capacity, this research capability is not widely available as only few academic institutions and one non-space company have the required hardware. The aim is to support industrial ISRU related development activities in the field of oxygen extraction and metal production using the FFC process. Three units with ancillaries system and training will be obtained as result of this procurement activity.E2E FFC Cambridge process development projectThe FFC Cambridge process is patented terrestrial technology for the production of metals from their oxides, using an electrochemical system that exploits a molten salt environment to conduct solid state de-oxidation. In a terrestrial set up, oxygen is removed from the system by using carbon based anode which results in production of carbon monoxide(CO) and carbon dioxide(CO2). For direct oxygen production an inert (or oxygen evolving) anode is required. The activities under this project header will study the overall process, including the areas of:regolith introduction in the reactor, optimisation of electrochemical removal of oxygen,electrolyte behaviour under vacuumThe research output will provide detailed information regarding the best trade-off between reactor and payload mass, power requirements and oxygen generation. Outcome of this project will feed into the development of the terrestrial ISRU End to End demonstrator.Gas separation/purification project Gas separation and purification are well known technologies for terrestrial application and used in a variety of fields, from manufacturing to medical. Various In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) processes exist to extract water or oxygen from lunar regolith. In addition to the targeted species, the gas stream at the outlet of these processes will contain impurities from the process itself (e.g. electrolyte) and/or from the trace elements of the lunar regolith (e.g. sulphur). The activity aims at advancing the understanding of the needs and developing solutions in gas separation purification techniques for key ISRU processes. In particular for oxygen there will be requirements on product purity for use in propulsionand for human support systems. The work will be dedicated to miniaturise systems to be used for ISRU demonstration missions. A breadboard for gas separation studies will be obtained as result of this procurement activity.

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