NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:06 X13.01-9313
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Space Radiation Health Research Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE:Tissue-Equivalent Radiation Dosimeter-On-A-Chip

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt St
Watertown, MA 02472-4699
(617) 668-6801

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James   Christian, PhD
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc., 44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA  02472-4699
(617) 668-6800

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Many commercially available digital dosimeters are bulky and are unable to properly measure dose for space radiation. The complexity of space flight design requires reliable, fault-tolerant equipment with the capability of providing real-time dose readings during a mission, which is not feasible with the existing thermo-luminescent dosimeter (TLD) technology.
The project will create a compact, lightweight, energy-efficient dose meter comprised of a tissue-equivalent scintillation crystal coupled to a solid-state photomultiplier (SSPM), which is an array of CMOS photodiodes, operated in Geiger avalanche mode. The ubiquitous nature of CMOS technology provides a standardized development platform, and the ability to integrate all the supporting electronics into a miniature, simple design.
In Phase I, we will model the expected dosimeter performance and characterize the performance of a prototype dosimeter exposed to high-energy protons, which simulates radiation in the space environment. We will also determine the TLD-dose equivalence of our measurements. In Phase II, we will create the support software and design and fabricate a finalized chip that includes readout electronics, power supply, memory storage, and other interfacing components.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
During spaceflight, both the immediate rate and total exposure information can be recorded simultaneously by these high-efficiency digital dosimeters. The compact size and inexpensive nature of these sensors also opens the possibility of monitoring many areas for comparison of radiation exposure, including individual monitors for each crewmember with online data for the whole mission. Ground-based research and comparisons will also become easier and less expensive with the SSPM dosimeter.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Inexpensive radiation dosimeters are in general demand for commercial applications, such as personnel or waste monitoring; other applications include border monitoring for homeland security and protecting satellites and ground-based equipment from solar flares. The ability to inexpensively mass-produce these devices creates an entirely new market for arrays of distributed sensors.

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
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19