NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 S1.08-9682
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In Situ Airborne, Surface, and Submersible Instruments for Earth Science
PROPOSAL TITLE: Compact Instrument for Measurement of Atmospheric Carbon Monoxide

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11
Santa Fe, NM 87505 - 3993
(505) 984-1322

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Alan C Stanton
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11
Santa Fe, NM 87505 - 3993
(505) 505-1322

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Southwest Sciences proposes to continue the development of a rugged, compact, and automated instrument for the high sensitivity measurement of tropospheric carbon monoxide (CO) and methane. The application of recently developed room temperature vertical cavity diode lasers (VCSELs)operating near 2300 nm permits the development of sensitive and rugged instrumentation for measurement of both atmospheric CO and methane with high precision. Phase 1 efforts successfully addressed the feasibility of measuring CO to a precision of 10 parts-per-billion or better over a range of tropospheric temperatures, pressures, and humidity. Phase 2 will extend the technology to simultaneous measurement of both carbon monoxide and methane. The principal objective is the development of prototype instrumentation for field testing.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Successful development of a VCSEL-based instrument for high sensitivity measurement of tropospheric carbon monoxide and methane will allow NASA to adopt a single high-reliability system for measurement of these two important gases using a wide variety of platforms (e.g. aircraft, balloons, ground-based network, etc.). The instrument will be very compact and low-power, designed for long-term operation with minimal attention and maintenance. The instrument is expected to find use in validation of remote sensing data obtained in planned NASA missions (e.g. ASCENDS and GEO-CAPE).

Longer term NASA applications could include adaptation of the instrument for measurements in planetary atmospheres, via use of space-qualified electronics and further ruggedization of the mechanical and thermal design. Applications could include measurements of atmospheric gases on Mars (e.g. water vapor, methane), Titan (methane, ethane), or other future planetary missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology will have direct commercial application in new instrumentation for atmospheric research. Other important commercial applications include combustion monitoring and control, and toxic gas sensing. The instrumentation design could also be adapted to measurement of hazardous or toxic gases, or other trace species, by appropriate selection of laser wavelengths. VCSELs operating in the same general wavelength region, for example, could be used for measurement of two other atmospheric species, nitrous oxide (N2O) and water vapor.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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 08-06-10 17:29