NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 X4.03-9910
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Space Suit Displays, Cameras, Controls, and Integrated Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Compact Optical Carbon Dioxide Monitor for EVA

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Vista Photonics, Inc.
67 Condesa Road
Santa Fe, NM 87508 - 8136
(505) 466-3830

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

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Breath respiratory species measurement during extravehicular activity (EVA) or intravehicular activity (IVA) is a demanding application for optical sensing techniques. Yet optical techniques offer many advantages including high-precision, fast response, and strong species selectivity. Accommodation within spacesuits demands that optical sensors meet stringent size, weight and power requirements. The next generation of emerging NASA Constellation spacesuits requires a new generation of CO2 sensing technology with performance beyond that presently in use on the Shuttle/ISS extravehicular mobility unit (EMU). Vista Photonics proposes to develop rugged, compact, low-power optical sensor prototypes capable of selectively determining carbon dioxide at EVA-relevant concentrations suitable for Constellation Configuration Two Spacesuits. Design variations include dual CO2 sensors for feeding into astronaut metabolic rate determination and simultaneous humidity measurement for automated suit thermal control. The enabling technology for meeting stringent NASA mission requirements is a new low power infrared optical source that provides the high-sensitivity of established optical absorption detection techniques.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The immediate targeted application for NASA is respiratory species monitoring during EVA and IVA. Phase II prototypes will be capable of selectively detecting carbon dioxide and humidity. The integrated sensors will be suitable for variable pressure EVA operation in diverse environments like the Moon, Mars and ISS. The sensors will allow real-time metabolic rate determination and automated suit thermal control. Unmanned planetary exploration missions in substantial atmospheres like Titan's are likewise contemplated. The emerging technology will also be suitable for use on both manned and unmanned terrestrial atmospheric research craft. Other applications include fire detection on aircraft and high-value installations, gas sensing in air revitalization and water recovery processes on spacecraft, and leak detection during spacecraft launch operations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Phase III commercial applications abound for sensors whose performance and physical characteristics are suitable for spaceflight. Two specifically targeted applications are high-performance medical capnographs for measuring real-time end-tidal breath carbon dioxide in patients and carbon dioxide leak detection at power plant carbon capture & sequestration sites. Other examples include contaminant monitoring in process gas streams in the chemical and microelectronics industries, medical diagnosis through detection of biogenic gases in human breath that correlate to specific pathologies, and environmental monitoring and regulatory compliance in agriculture, power production, and occupational safety. The fully-developed Phase II instruments shall offer a compelling and desirable blend of performance, affordability, compactness, simplicity and ease-of-use relative to present commercial product offerings in these 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.

Biomedical and Life Support
Biomolecular Sensors
Biophysical Utilization
Portable Life Support
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors

Form Generated on 10-23-08 13:36