NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X2.04-8707
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Environmental Monitoring and Control
PROPOSAL TITLE: Optical Monitor for Major Air Constituents

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Vista Photonics, Inc.
67 Condesa Road
Santa Fe, NM 87508 - 8136
(505) 466-3953

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Joerg Kutzner
67 Condesa Road
Santa Fe, NM 87508 - 8136
(505) 466-3830

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 2 to 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The well-being of the crew on manned missions depends critical on the composition of the habitat air. Oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor are the most important air constituents that have to be monitored continuously. Optical monitoring with its features of high precision, strong species selectivity and fast response is the preferred method if lightweight, small and low power-draw instrumentation can be developed. Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) are now available covering a broad wavelength range. These single frequency light sources are ideal candidates for high performance gas monitoring and especially suited for space applications due to their small size and extremely low power consumption. Vista Photonics proposes to develop technology based on these lasers that leads to small sensors that fulfill the strict requirements of spaceflight. The narrowband output of these lasers combined with wavelength modulation spectroscopy and a compact absorption cell will provide superior sensor performance. Inherent features like sensor health monitoring and recalibration without the use of expendable gases will be incorporated. The developed sensor will be fully automated and no maintenance will be required.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The targeted NASA application is monitoring of air composition on spacecraft and space stations. The emerging technology is adaptable to changing pressure conditions and suitable to operate in diverse environments, including corrosive atmospheres. The technology will be developed for major air constituents monitoring but is extendable to selective detection of trace contaminants. Trace gas detection capabilities might be incorporated into the same sensor. Relevant NASA applications are contaminant sensing in air revitalization and water recovery processes.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The developed sensor will be a general device for highly reliable, sensitive monitoring and/or detection of different gas species. The developed sensor platform will be broadly deployable for simultaneous detection of a variety of molecules with a cost-effective, small device. Applications include environmental monitoring and protection, occupational safety, modern manufacturing, and biomedical 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.


Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56