NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X3.04-9258
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Fire Protection
PROPOSAL TITLE: Advanced Fire Detector for Space Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Vista Photonics, Inc.
67 Condesa Road
Santa Fe, NM 87508 - 8136
(505) 466-3953

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Joerg Kutzner
67 Condesa Road
Santa Fe, NM 87508 - 8136
(505) 466-3953

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Reliable and efficient fire detection is a precondition for safe spaceflight. The threat of onboard fire is constant and requires early, fast and unfailing detection. Current fire detectors are prone to fatigue and have insufficient sensitivity, selectivity and time-response. Smoke detectors cannot detect early stages of combustion and become unreliable if exposed to dust particulates. New sensor technology is required to face the challenging tasks associated with future space exploration involving missions to the Moon and Mars. Carbon monoxide formation is a reliable indicator of evolving fire threats onboard spacecraft and this gaseous combustion product allows rapid early detection. Vista Photonics proposes to evaluate and implement emerging infrared light sources for high-performance optical CO detection. Optical sensors are particularly favorable due to unique features like fast response, high precision and strong species selectivity. Design criteria such as small footprint, low weight, low power consumption as well as internal calibration and continuous sensor health monitoring will be implemented to provide a spaceflight optimized sensor. The proposed optical absorption approach uses modulation techniques together with a compact path length enhancing cell with a small sample volume.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The targeted NASA application is early detection of fire threats onboard spacecraft. The emerging technology is adaptable to changing pressure conditions and suitable to operate in diverse environments, including corrosive atmospheres. The developed technology can be extended to selectively detect trace gas species for NASA relevant applications such as contaminant sensing in air revitalization and water recovery processes, and atmospheric composition monitoring.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The developed sensor will be a general device for highly reliable, sensitive fire detection and might find applications in protecting high value buildings and fire prevention in aviation. Beyond these applications, the developed sensor platform will be broadly deployable for trace gas detection of a variety of molecules with a cost-effective, small device. Applications include environmental monitoring and protection, occupational safety, modern manufacturing, and biomedical applications.

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.

Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Spaceport Infrastructure and Safety

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50