NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S1.08-9921
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In Situ Airborne, Surface, and Submersible Instruments for Earth Science
PROPOSAL TITLE: Miniature Mass Spectrometer for Earth Science Research

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ceramitron, LLC
9286 Old Bonhomme Rd
St Louis, MO 63132 - 4323
(314) 341-3085

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Philip S Berger
9286 Old Bonhomme Rd
St Louis, MO 63132 - 4323
(314) 341-3085

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
By drastically reducing the physical footprint of a mass spectrometer to the size of a beverage can, Ceramitron could set a new performance/price standard in the miniaturized MS market. To do this, we propose eliminating the turbomolecular and roughing pumps in favor two chemical sorption pumps (a non-evaporable getter (NEG) and an ion pump), both integrated into the spectrometer's self-contained vacuum enclosure.

Ceramitron's patented double-focusing 90o magnetic-sector unit comprises three printed circuit boards, sandwiched together to form a vacuum-tight enclosure containing a dual-filament EI source, ion slits, a photo- lithographically-deposited energy analyzer, lenses and I/O pins, continuous-dynode electron multiplier and the sorption pumps.

Target parameters: 200 daltons mass range, 200 resolving power, 5x10-5 Amps/Torr sensitivity, <2kg total weight, <10 watts power consumption.

Sample pressure through a pulsed-gas inlet, with flow restrictor, is ~1E-5 Torr. Internal pumps maintain ~1E-6 Torr with no in-flow. Units will be optimized for harsh operating environments.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A lightweight, low-cost universal chemical/gas analyzer based on Ceramitron's novel MS sensor technology deployed in unmanned aerial, surface and underwater platforms could significantly enhance NASA's Earth Science research capabilities. With a mass range of 200 daltons, Ceramitron's MS microsensor can characterize complex gas mixtures and may be especially useful for spatial/temporal mapping of the atmosphere by detecting greenhouse gases, industrial chemicals and aerosols that impact climate and weather conditions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to target applications in NASA's Earth science research, a successful Phase II implementation could address a host of commercial, military and medical applications for such a universal, multigas sensor of essentially the same design. These include early fire detection in public buildings, battlefield standoff detectors, breath analyzers, chemical process control and monitoring, atmospheric GHG characterization, and others.

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
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56