NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 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
2021 South First Street, Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820 - 7477
(217) 333-6841

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Qingmei Chen
2021 South First Street, suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820 - 7478
(217) 244-4872

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Based on the successful separation of 20 compounds using a 1 m coated microcolumn in Phase I, we propose to design a new micro-gas chromatograph (microGC) system to separate and detect of all contaminants listed in NASAs "Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentrations for Airborne Contaminants (SMACs)" using cabin air as the carrier gas, and to integrate the entire system to maximize the detection of the contaminants with high-sensitivity and accuracy. In order to attain these goals, we will use three sets of preconcentrators, columns, and detectors in parallel, each with the appropriate selectivity for a given class of gases. Light gases will use a packed column, and polar and non-polar gases with their respective stationary phases. The prototype micro-GC/FID will comprise preconcentrators with fast injection valves, microcolumns to separate different gas analytes, an air sampling pump, a water-hydrolysis hydrogen generator to provide enough oxygen and hydrogen for a micro-flame ionization detector, thermal management, controls and circuit board to drive the system.

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 now and lower the need for unstable reagents or calibration mixtures. Further, the microGC's will be small enough and light enough, and be energy efficient enough to be included in Extravehicular Mobility Units.

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.

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

Form Generated on 08-06-10 17:29