NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: E4.02-8394 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013605 )
An In-situ, Biogeochemical Sensor using Excitation-Emission Matrix Fluorometry

The technical, scientific, and commercial feasibility of developing a novel aquatic in-situ biogeochemical sensor, termed the XMF, is evaluated. Using excitation-emission matrix fluorometry, the sensor will enable in-situ simultaneous detection and effective analytical separation of individual biogeochemical components present in seawater, including humic substances, hydrocarbons, proteins, wastewater/sewage, and other natural and anthropogenic substances. Excitation-emission matrices (EEMs) will be measured at sampling rates on the order of a second. No scanning of the monochromators, in fact no moving parts whatsoever, will be required. The technological innovation making this possible is termed Double Dispersion Imaging (DDI). The sensor software will incorporate real-time, automated quantum corrections and 2-D mixing analysis techniques. Design goals emphasize portability, compactness, ruggedness, and enabling flexible deployment through features such as variable sampling rates and memory storage capabilities. No current sensor for oceanographic deployment has these characteristics. If feasibility is demonstrated, the XMF is expected to be a powerful analytical tool for investigating biogeochemical processes that we feel will realistically mark a turning point in the analytical oceanic measurement capabilities.

Ms are a powerful analytical tool for conducting biogeochemical research in oceanic, coastal, and limnological environments. Currently there is no commercially available sensor which can provide in-situ, quantum corrected EEMs or provide 2-D spectral fluorescence information at the resolution required for effective separation of individual fluorophores or fluorophore pools present in seawater. We believe the analytical capability of resolving a wide spectrum of different fluorescent biogeochemicals simultaneously in-situ with sampling rates of about one second will be an enormously compelling tool for basic research and industry. Researchers involved in carbon cycling, environmental monitoring, and the study of phytoplankton blooms will find this sensor allows description of critically relevant parameters on temporal and spatial scales never before resolved. The oil industry will find this sensor to be an easy and cheap alternative to the laborious sampling and laboratory testing necessary to detect hydrocarbons. Compatibility with mooring applications will allow monitoring of biogeochemicals in a fashion not possible with current technology.
We believe there is thus a clear and substantial market niche for the XMF sensor. With a target price of $20,000?$30,000, we expect annual revenues of about $0.8?1.2 million from XMF sales when it is fully established as a product.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Casey C. Moore
WET Labs, Inc.
620 Applegate St. (PO Box 518)
Philomath , OR   97370 - 0518

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
WET Labs, Inc.
620 Applegate St. (PO Box 518)
Philomath , OR   97370 - 0518

Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44