NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-B2.01-8861 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034144)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Understanding and Utilizing Gravitational Effects on Plants and Animals
PROPOSAL TITLE:High Sensitivity Ethylene Sensor for Plant Health Monitoring

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Southwest Sciences Inc
1570 Pacheco St Suite E-11
Santa Fe ,NM 87505 - 3993
(505) 984 - 1322

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Joel   Silver
jsilver@swsciences.com
1570 Pacheco St Suite E-11
Santa Fe ,NM  87505 -3993
(505) 984 - 1322
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The ability to grow food and recycle components of cabin air are critical to the success of long-term space flight missions. In order to assure that plants used for biomass production grow under optimal conditions, sensors are required to monitor the generation of biogenic and other relevant gases. In particular, ethylene gas must be carefully controlled to promote rapid growth of biomass products, yet be limited so as to prevent premature spoilage or degradation of the crops. The goal of this program is to develop a compact ethylene sensor with sufficient sensitivity for biomass monitoring and research that would also meet the unique needs required for space flight operation. The anticipated results of the Phase I and II research would culminate in the delivery of a fully operational, stand-alone, high sensitivity (1 part-per-billion) ethylene sensor. This sensor would have capabilities for monitoring other biogenic gases as well as cabin environmental trace species. Commercial applications would include medical breath analyses, portable hazardous gas sensors, and industrial process control monitors.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The proposed ethylene sensor system provides immediate applications for NASA for biomass production monitoring in long-duration space flights. Direct adaptation of this system to other gases could also be used in several areas ranging from fire safety to air quality monitoring.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The development of a compact DSP-based diode laser sensor for ultra-trace gas detection has many commercial applications. These specifically include medical breath testing for disease identification and screening, in-line industrial process monitoring and hazardous gas sensing. The size and low electrical power usage of this sensor will permit portable devices as well as stationary units.