NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-2 O3.02-9460
PROPOSAL TITLE: Life Science Research Sample Transfer Technology for On Orbit Analysis

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Techshot, Inc.
7200 Highway 150
Greenville, IN 47124 - 9515
(812) 923-9591

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael A Kurk
7200 Highway 150
Greenville, IN 47124 - 9515
(812) 923-9591 Extension :224

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 5
End: 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
With retirement of the space shuttle program, microgravity researchers can no longer count on bringing experiment samples back to earth for post-flight analysis. Locker-sized processing facilities, which were typically transported up to and down from the International Space Station during the shuttle era, quite simply consume too much volume, mass, and power to be accommodated as part of both the upmass and downmass on current space transportation vehicles. As a result, more analysis must be accomplished on ISS, which makes on-orbit analytical tools critical to the continued success of microgravity research. The Analytical Cassette transfer Tool (ACT) is a low-cost, disposable device that efficiently transfers experiment samples in a safe and contained manner from unique experiment specific spaceflight hardware to on-orbit analytical tools that enable real-time analysis in microgravity. ACT interfaces with several flight qualified processing payloads to extract experiment samples via a needle-less septum and then allows transfer of those samples into a number of different on-orbit analytical devices, including such instrumentation as the Light Microscopy Module, the Microfluidic Flow Cytometer, a Spectrophotometer, and/or a Mass Spectrometer. Applications in life and environmental sciences include sampling liquid cultures/suspensions or sampling spacecraft water for quality evaluation. ACT functions within or outside of on-orbit gloveboxes to safely transfer any liquid material from one container fitted with the ACT mating receptacle to another container fitted with a receptacle. Its safe, simple, effective, and with its economical advantage, ACT is destined to become the new standard fluid transfer device for the ISS and future space research venues. For the Phase II project, Techshot will develop a flight version of the ACT and subject it to the major spaceflight integration tests.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
ACT offers important potential NASA commercial applications, as well as a significant return on NASA's SBIR investment. Techshot expects to commercialize the ACT by incorporating it into the company's spaceflight service program that it offers to NASA mission programs, as well as for other Government agencies such as investigators funded by the National Institute of Health's Biomed-ISS program. ACT provides an innovative tool for transferring liquid samples from unique experiment specific spaceflight hardware to on-orbit analytical tools, thus enabling real-time analysis on ISS. Both physics and life science investigators can expect to benefit from ACT since it can safely transfer, store and manipulate a host of fluid media to enable both processing and analysis of samples. Overall, the science research community will be better served with increased capacity of getting more samples processed and analyzed in space, and NASA will be one step closer to realizing its goal of fully utilizing ISS as a national laboratory.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Building on its heritage of developing and integrating space flight hardware, and then conducting experiments in space, Techshot expects to soon offer flight experiment services to non-NASA customers, including the private sector and university researchers. The success of Techshot's processing facilities like the Avian Development Facility (ADF), the ADvanced Space Experiment Processor (ADSEP), and soon the ACT, will enable Techshot to serve more researchers and offer more diversified services on ISS. In combination, this broad range of services is expected to improve Techshot's competitive position. Furthermore, with the expected availability of commercial launch vehicles (e.g. SpaceX, Orbital), once these vehicles begin routine visits to the ISS, and eventually to commercial space stations (e.g. Bigelow) and free fliers (e.g. DragonLab), the economics of transporting and processing materials in microgravity should become far more compelling. And eventually, given enough commercial launch vehicle capacity, ACT could become the fluid transfer tool of choice to support the processing of larger quantities of high-value materials, including cells, pharmaceuticals and other high-value medical-grade materials. Finally, the potential also exists for an ACT patent and licensing to companies interested in selling such a product to ground-based research labs for use in BSL-3 facilities where additional containment of hazardous biological materials is critical for employee safety.

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.)
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Biological (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Biomass Growth
Biophysical Utilization
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Health Monitoring & Sensing (see also Sensors)
Image Processing
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Physiological/Psychological Countermeasures

Form Generated on 12-15-11 17:36