NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 S1.08-9140
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In Situ Airborne, Surface, and Submersible Instruments for Earth Science
PROPOSAL TITLE: Atmospheric Aerosol Analysis using Lightweight Mini GC

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Seacoast Science, Inc.
2151 Las Palmas Drive, Suite C
Carlsbad, CA 92011 - 1575
(760) 268-0083

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Sanjay V Patel
2151 Las Palmas Drive, Suite C
Carlsbad, CA 92011 - 1575
(760) 268-0083 Extension :15

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The major components of manmade aerosols are created by the burning of coal and oil. These aerosols are recognized to have a significant climatic impact through their effects on solar and terrestrial radiation. The accurate speciation and measurement of the composition of these aerosols is an important first step in understanding and managing these pollutants. This proposal focuses on the development of a detection system specifically for the collection, speciation and identification of gas phase and aerosolized organics. The proposed portable system will be approximately 1/10 the size and 1/5 the cost of traditional bench top analytical units and will be capable of sample collection and battery operation without the need for compressed bottled gas. The Seacoast system will integrate its proprietary chemicapacitive sensor array technology and commercial sensors with a preconcentration/chromatography system, combining selectivity from a diverse sensor array with a miniature sampling system for amplified sensitivity. The specific components will be: 1) vapor collection pump, 2) sample preconcentrator capable of being heated quickly and in stages, 3) capillary column to separate the chemicals released from the preconcentrator and provide selectivity, 4) the chemical sensor array containing Seacoast's chemoselective microcapacitors or "chemicapacitors" and metal-oxide-based detectors, 5) integrated user interface. The system will be designed to be modular so as to allow further expansion with other sensor technologies. In addition the Seacoast system utilizes air, sampled from its environment, as a carrier gas thus requiring no bottled gas for increased portability and ease of use. The system will be capable of both gas phase (sampling from the environment) and liquid phase (from direct injection of possible source pollutants) operation.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This program effects environmental research by providing research tools to scientists who study atmospheric pollutants. This low cost miniature gas and aerosol analyzer will allow for direct measures of chemicals from a variety of polluting industries, clouds, and plumes, by providing a lightweight battery powered system that can be launched in balloons or other UAVs. When coupled with GPS, the system could be used to map plumes from many sources.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The product proposed here could be used to continuously monitor organic aerosols in the environment. It could log the data or send the information through a secure wireless or wired internet connection if available. This development work has very broad relevance in a number of other government and civilian applications. For example, these sensors may be used in any application for monitoring a variety of chemical targets where a premium is placed on early detection. The low cost, low power consumption and small size of this technology is expected to enable penetration of market space previously inaccessible to sensor systems.

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.

Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14