NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 S1.08-9043
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In Situ Airborne, Surface, and Submersible Instruments for Earth Science
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Performance Nitrous Oxide Analyzer for Atmospheric Research

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

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This project targets the development of a highly sensitive gas sensor to monitor atmospheric nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is an important species in Earth science research. It is one of the four principal greenhouse gases that result from human activities. It is the primary source gas for nitrogen oxides in the stratosphere, a useful dynamical tracer and a powerful greenhouse gas. It is the only long-lived atmospheric tracer of human perturbations of the global nitrogen cycle. Atmospheric mixing ratios for nitrous oxide are around 320 parts-per-billion (ppb). Though it's atmospheric concentration is much smaller than that of the most cited green house gas carbon dioxide, it is an effective greenhouse gas having a Global Warming Potential of 296 over a 100-year time span. Vista Photonics proposes to develop a compact, low weight, highly sensitive, in situ monitor for nitrous oxide.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The targeted sensor platform is a compact, ultra-sensitive device for Earth science research. It will allow in situ monitoring of atmospheric nitrous oxide in a variety of surface and airborne applications. This sensor generation will be applicable to NASA's Airborne Science program. Because a substantial part of nitrous oxide emission stems from the oceans, the proposed sensor will impact NASA's Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry, and Applied Sciences programs, including the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). The sensor versatility will allow detailed studies of emissions from selected sources. The compact and highly sensitive instrumentation will substantially increase the possibilities of atmospheric nitrous oxide research. It will also be valuable for calibration and validation of satellite measurements that are routinely performed.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The nitrous oxide sensor will be the basis to develop general devices for highly reliable, sensitive monitoring and/or detection of different gas species. The small and ultra-sensitive sensor generation will be broadly deployable. 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 09-18-09 10:14