NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 X2.03-8721
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Environmental Monitoring and Control
PROPOSAL TITLE: Micro GC’s for Contaminant Monitoring In Spacecraft Air

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Cbana Laboratories
2001 South First Street
Champaign, IL 61820 - 7478
(217) 239-1963

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Qingmei Chen
2001 South First Street
Champaign, IL 61820 - 7478
(217) 244-4872

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The objective of this proposal is to create new gas chromatographs (GCs) for contaminant monitoring in spacecraft air that do not require any reagents or special carrier gases. Under DARPA support, Cbana has created a new class of microGCs that are smaller than ever before and yet show performance similar to those of full scale commercial GCs. In the proposed work we will redesign the GCs so that they can use air as a carrier gas. Key to the device is a very low pressure drop adsorbent bed that can capture the contaminants for analysis and produce a very pure air stream as a carrier gas. Phase I tests will be performed to optimize the performance of the adsorption bed and to verify that the GC columns work with air. The result will lead to a cabin air monitoring system that can detect all of the contaminants listed in the NASA report NASA report "Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentrations For Airborne Contaminants" and not require special carrier gases or reagents.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
If we are successful through Phase II, we will demonstrate that the Cbana microGCs can detect a broad range of contaminants in spacecraft air without needing externally supplied reagents. The devices will increase the number of contaminants that can be detected and lower the need for unstable reagents or calibration mixtures. Further the GCs will be small enough and light enough to be included in Extravehicular Mobility Units for the first time.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The microGCs have a wealth of potential commercial opportunities. Examples include: indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring and remediation, industrial pollution containment and elimination, narcotics detection, cargo monitoring, explosives detection, and lung cancer screening. Also, we will have a military device to detect chemical warfare agents that can support a 7-day mission packaged in the space of only a few cubic centimeters. This integrated device comprising a micro-GC, detectors, reagents and power supply will have the potential to: 1) identify chemical threats in a battlefield; 2) provide assessment of warfighter health status, chemical exposure, stress level, and hydration; and 3) detect human activity in caves and other structures.
The use of Cbana components in NASA missions will aid the deployment of Cbana's sensors in the commercial market. One of the key milestones in Cbana's business plan is to secure independent groups to validate the technology. Inclusion of the Cbana equipment as an integral component of one or more NASA missions would facilitate our goal of independent validation, hence furthering commercial market acceptance.

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.

Air Revitalization and Conditioning
Biomedical and Life Support
Biomolecular Sensors
In-situ Resource Utilization

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14