NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X3.04-9437
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Fire Protection
PROPOSAL TITLE: Mirage fire sensor for spacecraft

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11
Santa Fe, NM 87505 - 3993
(505) 984-1322

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Bomse
dbomse@swsciences.com
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11
Santa Fe, NM 87505 - 3993
(505) 984-1322

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Spacecraft fires create exception risks to crew members. There is usually no place to escape. Even small amounts of hardware damage can compromise a mission. The most effective fire extinguishing agents, Halons, are prohibited because of the toxicity and corrosiveness of combustion byproducts. Early warning fire sensors are needed that can operate effectively in zero gravity; that means no convection to transport smoke or fire-generated gases to point sensors. Avionics compartments are often densely packed and filled with dead spaces that do not exchange air well with circulating air streams. Southwest Sciences proposes the development of a thermal mirage sensor for detecting incipient spacecraft fires. The sensor will use highly miniaturized, low power cameras to image a simple geometric pattern projected onto a flat surface. Thermally induced image distortions will provide early fire warning. The sensor will operate autonomously; we anticipate a networked set of such sensors, each having sufficient signal processing capability to determine sensor health and alarm conditions. Our innovation includes the use of highly miniaturized, low cost components. The cross line projector is a laser pointer combined with a small (4 mm × 4 mm) piece of etched clear plastic; diffraction forms the line pattern. There are no moving parts.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed thermal mirage sensor has obvious fire detection applications in nearly all types of NASA spacecraft, habitats, and large-scale, high loss, ground electronics and mechanical installations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed thermal mirage sensor has obvious fire detection applications in commercial and military aircraft as well as in extensive electronics systems such as large commercial internet server installations. The commercial applications – particularly for aircraft – will benefit from our emphasis on low cost, small size, low power, and autonomous operation. Our goal is to keep sensor component costs below $200 in quantity, so that a fully deployed sensor network remains reasonably priced. We are already close to that price point.

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
Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Combustion
Photonics
Testing Facilities


Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50