NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S1.08-9915
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In Situ Airborne, Surface, and Submersible Instruments for Earth Science
PROPOSAL TITLE: The Photo-Pneumatic CO2 Analyzer

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Atmospheric Observing Systems, Inc.
1930 Central Avenue, Suite A
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2895
(303) 443-3389

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James Smith
1930 Central Avenue, Suite A
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2895
(303) 443-3389

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We are proposing to build a new technology, the photo-pneumatic analyzer. It is small, solid-state, inexpensive, and appropriate for observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) from six of the seven robotic platforms being targeted by NASA in its solicitation. An inexpensive MEMS transducer is integrated into a miniature pair of gas cells to serve as the radiation sensitive element of the analyzer. Absorption by individual vibration-rotation transitions serves as the measure of CO2 Dry Mole Fraction of the sample. The analyzer has significant sensitivity, bandwidth and specificity to 12CO2 or 13CO2. Target sensitivity is 0.1 ppmv at 1 Hz for both isotopes. The analyzer may be modified to detect additional molecular species. The immediate objective is to develop an expendable CO2 analyzer that can be manufactured by machine and can be used to validate observations of CO2 column from spacecraft and can further serve as the basis of a new global monitoring network of climate change. The products targeted for Phase II are: (i) a substantial series of vertical profiles of CO2 that serve to prove the utility of the new technology as payload of the expendable balloon platform and (ii) the manufacturing plan for a commercially viable photo-pneumatic analyzer.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
(i) The photo-pneumatic analyzer technology integrated directly into payloads for six of the seven robotic platforms being targeted by NASA in the airborne monitoring program and the IOOS. (ii) Development of the expendable balloon as a means to provide high precision vertical profiles of atmospheric CO2 in support of NASA suborbital missions. (iii) Calibration/validation of observations of CO2 column made by OCO and ASCENDS, two NASA satellites that are scheduled for launch in Jan. 2009 and 2014 respectively.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
(i) A new photonic detector having large optical throughput and inherent specificity to spectroscopic signatures of sources or of transmitting media. (ii) The capability of monitoring pollution of cities and quantifying efforts of remediation. (iii) A global, ongoing expendable balloon program designed to observe high precision vertical profiles of CO2 that can supplement the great horizontal detail to be provided by satellites. (iv) Global networks of drifter buoys and communication towers equipped with the photo-pneumatic analyzer and able to contribute to data needed by models to predict climate change caused by anthropogenic and natural sources of carbon dioxide. (v) Consumer products, including novelties, able to detect CO2 and other species at a level that is sensitive enough to monitor changes in the environment or breath of the individual person to substantial precision.

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.

Expert Systems
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Testing Facilities

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56