NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:04-II B4.01-8696
PHASE-I CONTRACT NUMBER: NNM05AA30C
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Space Market Driven Research
PROPOSAL TITLE:Nanostructured Fiber Optic Cantilever Arrays and Hybrid MEMS Sensors for Chemical and Biological Detection

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Luna Innovations Incorporated
2851 Commerce Street
Blacksburg ,VA 24060 - 6657
(540) 552 - 5128

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Matthew S Hull
submissions@lunainnovations.com
2851 Commerce Street
Blacksburg, VA  24060 -6657
(540) 552 - 5128

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Advancements in nano-/micro-scale sensor fabrication and molecular recognition surfaces offer promising opportunities to develop miniaturized hybrid fiber optic and MEMS-based sensors for in situ analysis of chemicals and microbial pathogens in spacecraft air and water. Such sensors have extraordinary dual-use benefits in medical screening for early indication of certain cancers and rapid detection of weaponized chemical and biological agents for homeland defense.

Returning humans to the moon and "worlds beyond" as directed in the 'Vision for Space Exploration' requires manned missions of increasing duration. Increased mission duration invariably increases chemical and microbial contamination of spacecraft. Ensuring crew health and optimal systems performance thus requires sensors to continuously monitor spacecraft advanced life support systems. Presently, adequate sensors do not exist and crews must rely on labor-intensive techniques to ensure safety of drinking water and breathing air.

In Phase I we demonstrated feasibility of miniaturized polymer-coated fiber-optic cantilever arrays for monitoring toxic vapors. In Phase II we will develop next-generation hybrid cantilever and MEMS sensors for detection of various aerosolized chemical and biological contaminants at SMAC-relevant levels. To facilitate implementation by NASA end-users, sensors will be integrated and demonstrated with existing NASA air sampling devices. Phase III commercialization efforts are well underway.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Chemical and microbial contamination of spacecraft is likely to become of increasing concern as the duration of manned space missions increases to return humans to the moon and "worlds beyond" as directed in the 'Vision for Space Exploration'. The proposed sensor technology can be applied to continuously monitor spacecraft advanced life support systems to alert the crew of impending dangers. As spacecraft microbial burden increases, or dangerous chemical leakages occur, early detection is critical to rapid implementation of contingencies. Presently, such sensors do not exist and crews rely on labor-intensive techniques to ensure safety of drinking water and breathing air.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Nano- and micro-scale sensor technologies that meet the air and water quality monitoring needs of NASA also have extraordinary dual-use commercial benefits in medical screening for early indication of certain cancers, environmental monitoring of toxic chemicals, and rapid detection of weaponized chemical and biological agents for homeland defense and military applications. In addition, fiber-optic and MEMS-based sensors are finding increasing applications in common devices such as cell-phones and laptops, thus penetrating multi-billion dollar markets. Phase III commercialization efforts have been initiated for development of advanced medical screening devices for panel testing of biological fluids.


Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52