NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S1.11-9560
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lunar Science Instruments and Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: X-ray diffraction and fluorescence instrument for mineralogical analysis at the lunar surface.

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
inXitu, Inc.
2551 Casey Avenue, Suite A
Mountain View, CA 94043 - 1135
(650) 567-0081

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Philippe Sarrazin
2551 Casey Avenue, Suite A
Mountain View, CA 94043 - 1135
(650) 799-2118

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 6 to 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose to develop a compact and lightweight X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) / X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) instrument for analysis of mineralogical composition of regolith, rock samples and dust, in lunar surface exploration. The instrument inherits from the general concept of CheMin, the XRD/XRF instrument of MSL, but is entirely redesigned to provide a more compact and lightweight unit, and reduced costs. Many implementation details of the proposed instrument will inherit from the design of a small portable XRD/XRF instruments developed and marketed by inXitu, Inc. and a robotic instrument derived from this design. The objective of this proposal is to bring this development to a high TRL of 6 to 7, to enable fast and cost effective development of subsequent flight systems. A high TRL target is possible within the scope of an SBIR Phase I + II because several key technological developments required for this objective have been ┬ľor are being- addressed by the company through separate sources of funding. Furthermore, the proposed work leverages the extensive experience of the PI and the company with this type of instrumentation, in both terrestrial and planetary applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed instrument would be fitted to a landed platform, rover or lander, to perform mineralogical analysis of the regolith, rocks, ices, and dust at the lunar surface. The flight instrument will weight about half that of the MSL CheMin instrument and require about ten times less energy to perform an analysis at identical or improved XRD performance. These improvements will enable small missions with limited payload to be fitted with XRD/XRF capabilities. Although this development is focused on lunar applications, the technology would equally benefit landed planetary missions requiring definitive mineralogy capabilities.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This development will enable next generation portable field XRD/XRF instruments for geological analysis in the field, mining, oil, forensic, art, and also dedicated applications such as in-vacuum process monitoring tools for thin film deposition, robotic systems for quality control, or low cost benchtop instrument for routine analysis in the laboratory or education.

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.


Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56