NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S1.11-9152
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lunar Science Instruments and Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Deep UV Raman/Fluorescence (DUV-RF) Stand-off sensor for Lunar Science

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Photon Systems
15112 Industrial Park St.
Covina, CA 91722 - 3417
(626) 967-6431

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
William Hug
15112 Industrial Park St.
Covina, CA 91722 - 3417
(626) 967-6431

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This proposal enables development a miniature, low power consumption, fused deep UV Raman and native fluorescence (DUV-RF) stand-off sensor. The proposed fused instrument has the ability to measure the spatial distribution of chemical species containing C, N, H, O, S, Cl, and/or water, ice, and hydrated minerals on a 1-5 mm spatial scale enabled by a novel set of wide aperture, high sensitivity ultraminiature deep UV Raman spectrometers.

Raman spectroscopy is a non-contact, non-destructive, method of identifying unknown materials without the need for sample acquisition and processing. This technique is ideal for in situ exploration from extraterrestrial Rovers or landers. There are three main advantages of deep UV Raman methods over near-UV, visible or near-IR counterparts. 1) Rayleigh-law: signal enhancement of 20x at 248nm compared to excitation at 532nm. 2) Resonance: much higher signal enhancements; for water 5 times greater than Rayleigh-law enhancement alone, for a combined effect over 120x between 248 nm and 532 nm. 3) With excitation below 250nm, Raman scattering bands occur in a fluorescence-free region of the spectrum. At longer excitation wavelengths fluorescence from target or surrounding materials overwhelm Raman emissions and require gating with high power lasers with narrow pulse widths leading to sample alteration/damage. When deep UV Raman is combined with native fluorescence, it becomes possible to characterize mineral alterations and detect trapped chemicals with exquisite sensitivity and differentiability.

The New Frontiers has placed a South pole-Aitken Basin sample return as a future mission scenario. Using the enhanced detection capabilities of DUV-RF, water, ice and chemical species can be detected and mapped to provide an understanding of their distribution in the lunar regolith.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This technology is useful for a broad range of in situ measurements for: space science and terrestrial geochemical, geophysical and geobiological studies; planetary protection applications such as measuring/characterizing organic or biogenic contamination on outbound and inbound spacecraft; and for general application to high quality non-invasive, non-destructive measurement of trace levels of contamination on surfaces, in liquids and in the air, such as aboard the International Space Station. The proposed instrument will provide the ability to measure trace levels of organic material at working distances up to 1 meter or more. For space science applications, this would enable a Rover-body mounted instrument that could interrogate the vicinity of the Rover. For terrestrial applications the stand-off measurements could be made in full sun-light conditions at least for Raman and potentially for the deep UV native fluorescence emissions. For planetary protection applications it would enable direct measurement of bioloads on spacecraft surfaces without the need for sample collection using traditional methods.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology being addressed by this proposal is immediately useful for Department of Defense (DOD) and Homeland Security (HS) applications as well as non-government commercial and industrial applications. DOD and HS applications include in situ biological and chemical warfare sensors to detect trace levels of biological, nerve, and blister agents as well as low-volatility toxic industrial chemicals (TICs). The ability of the sensor to measure hazardous materials a meters of working distance vastly improves their use by first responders.

In addition, a broad range of non-government commercial and industrial applications are addressed by the proposed sensor including: environmental testing of water, soil and air; municipal and industrial water and waste-water quality testing; commercial product quality control testing of manufactured food, chemical, semiconductor, and other commercial products; and a wide range of research applications enabled by the core technologies developed on this program.

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
In-situ Resource Utilization
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Waste Processing and Reclamation

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56