NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 S2.05-8993
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Astrobiology
PROPOSAL TITLE:Photonic Crystal Fiber-Based High Sensitivity Gas Sensor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Los Gatos Research
67 East Evelyn Avenue, Suite 3
Mountain View ,CA 94041 - 1518
(650) 965 - 7772

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Micah   Yairi
m.yairi@lgrinc.com
67 East Evelyn Avenue, Suite 3
Mountain View, CA  94041 -1518
(650) 965 - 7772

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Los Gatos Research, Inc. proposes to develop a lightweight, compact, rugged, near-infrared gas-sensing spectroscopy instrument to accurately measure the abundance of various gases indicative of the presence of life. These gases include carbon dioxide, ammonia, and methane. This instrument will be the first low-cost, remotely operable all fiber-based Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy sensor capable of measuring gases such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, and methane with sufficient precision to indicate the presence of biological activity on non-Earth bodies, particularly Mars and Europa. The proposed prototype sensor includes the novel use of hollow photonic crystal fibers, which further enables accurate measurement of even small samples of gas (approximately 1 microliter). The project will also leverage Los Gatos Research's prior work developing rugged, autonomous gas sensors for extreme environments that NASA is currently using.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
This SBIR effort addresses key objected outlined in NASA's Solar System Exploration Roadmap, with an emphasis on studying the climate and biosphere on Mars and Europa. The proposed photonic crystal fiber-based gas analyzer will address these objected by being able to measure carbon dioxide, oxygen, methane, and ammonia. These gas measurements will help to understand atmospheric dynamics and help identify indicators of life. The small gas sample size of this system enables it to analyze trace gases released in real-time from small samples of dissolved or broken surface samples which might contain evidence of life.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
A compact, sensitive, real-time gas analyzer also has significant commercial application. Through a series of strategic partnerships, LGR is developing a suite of analytical instrumentation to measure gas concentrations for medical and petrochemical applications. The proposed work is essential in making these instruments more rugged (no moving parts) and more compact (all fiber-based), and will thus significantly enlarge the potential for expanding into this greater than $100 million market.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Biochemical
Biomolecular Sensors
Optical


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12