NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Astrobiology and Atmospheric Instruments for Planetary Exploration
PROPOSAL TITLE:Elemental & Chemical State Analysis, XPS, for in-situ Materials Analysis on Mars

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Apparati, Inc.
221 Carpenter DR
Hollister, CA 95023-9320
(408) 632-1556

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Charles   Bryson
221 Carpenter DR
Hollister, CA  95023-9320
(408) 623-1556

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This innovation is the design of a monochromatic x-ray source to be used in a mission compatible XPS spectrometer. Existing x-ray sources for XPS are large, require high power and a will have difficulty meeting the vibration specifications for a mission type instrument. The small x-ray sources developed for medical applications are exciting but are designed for high energy x-rays and require refractory anodes. This program will develop a new design suitable for mission applications. It will focus on small sources similar to the medical devices that will use low power. The monochromator will be designed for low mass and use a feedback based stabilization to keep it aligned independent of temperature and vibrations associated with missions launch. The feedback system will use x-ray detectors in a plane near the sample to since the x-ray beam direction and an interment angular vibration to make sure the monochromator is on the optimum angle for diffraction. After a suitable design is implemented with thermal electron sources, a nanotube excitation sources will be considered.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
We anticipate three types of NASA applications All will use the very small XPS for direct measurements of the chemical state of materials on, or in, the surface of Mars, other planetary objects and Earth. These experiments will examine the in-situ chemical state of surfaces of interest. From this data there will be a better understanding of the reactions that actually occur on these surfaces, the presence and type of biomarkers present, the levels and nature of toxic materials and the amount of water present. All of this information will be obtained with out a pre-knowledge of what may be found. The mass of the instrument will vary depending on the place used. The high vacuum nature of Lunar type surfaces will reduce the mass of the housing and eliminate the vacuum pumps while the low pressure of the Mars atmosphere simplifies the pump needed.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Three semiconductor Defect Review Instrument manufactures are interested in this project and will participate in the phase III effort. This market will approach $1B in the next few years. Apparati Inc. (AI) expects to supply the analytical base tool and can expect sales to grow to $100 M per year as the product matures. During Phase III AI will ship $3M in shipments and NRE.
Another application area will be the use of the XPS with the small x-ray source to pursue dedicated analysis products. There have been very few for electron spectroscopy tools developed for this market because of the cost and speed of the current instruments. As a result there is very little market size data available. At Surface/Interface Inc., a previous company the PI founded, a successful tool was developed for the Hard Disk business. It is a viable product in a market that is developing.

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.

Particle and Fields

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19