NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: B3.04-8520 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013479 )
PROPOSAL TITLE:
Quantum Cascade Laser System for Monitoring Ammonia and Formaldehyde

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
We propose a novel, infrared sensor for continuous monitoring of trace contaminants in spacecraft air. Our approach takes advantage of a new class of mid-infrared diode lasers and uses high sensitivity optical methods to achieve fully-automated sensors capable of long term, space-borne operation. Optical methods provide high sensitivity, rapid response, and freedom from false alarms. Extended space flights, including missions on board the International Space Station, have stringent requirements on environmental monitoring instruments: low power draw, low weight, and ruggedness plus fully automated, self-calibrating, and maintenance-free operation. Sensors must achieve high sensitivity because NASA's specifications for Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentrations (SMACs) are typically an order of magnitude lower than standards set by regulatory agencies for terrestrial environments. Our approach can meet all of the requirements identified above for space-borne sensors. The proposed work emphasizes in situ detection of ammonia and formaldehyde -- two compounds that are not easily quantified using traditional sampling and analysis methods -- and complements ongoing work at Southwest Sciences on hydrogen cyanide detection.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Our proposed innovation will immediately meet a NASA need as outlined in the solicitation. In addition, successful development of the proposed sensor will also lead to new commercial products for trace gas detection including monitoring of toxic gases (arsine and phosphine) used in semiconductor fabrication and, perhaps, noninvasive medical diagnoses based on trace constituents in exhaled breath.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
David S. Bomse
Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco St., Suite E-11
Santa Fe , NM   87505 - 3993

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco St., Suite E-11
Santa Fe , NM   87505 - 3993


Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44