April 30, 2014 – NASA awarded Reactive Innovations a contract to develop a medical oxygen concentrator for micro-gravity environments. NASA exploration mission planners have identified a need for an emergency medical oxygen system for various medical scenarios. It is desired to concentrate oxygen from the cabin air to directly provide an oxygen rate of 2-15 lpm at an oxygen concentration level ranging from 50 to 90%. In this manner, the cabin atmosphere can maintain a relatively lower oxygen level minimizing fire hazards. An ideal system will operate off of spacecraft power and provide a closed-loop oxygen line for the crewmember where the blood oxygenation level is monitored and used as a feedback control signal to regulate the oxygen rate. It is also desired to have a portable lower-output version of this medical oxygen concentrator that can be used for EVA pre-breathing and vehicle transfer operations.
Reactive Innovations has developed a technology platform that separates oxygen from the air in a noiseless and compact system. This NASA contract will afford Reactive Innovations an opportunity to develop this medical oxygen concentrator for NASA’s exploration missions that need emergency oxygen for various medical scenarios. Additionally, Reactive will be able to continue developing this oxygen concentrator for the growing terrestrial market. There are over a million users in the US that require oxygen therapy where portable oxygen tanks or concentrators are critical to provide life support respiratory oxygen. Reactive’s product aims to improve the three largest user complaints with existing portable O2 concentrators, namely, that the systems are too heavy, too noisy, and they are too bulky restricting mobility. Reactive’s medical oxygen concentrator will provide improved mobility for people that require O2 respiratory therapy enhancing the quality of their life.