NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-2 S2.05-8926
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Optics Manufacturing and Metrology for Telescope Optical Surfaces
PROPOSAL TITLE: High-Resolution Detector for At-Wavelength Metrology of X-Ray Optics

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472 - 4699
(617) 668-6800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Vivek Nagarkar
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472 - 4699
(617) 668-6801

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 5
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Since the launch of the first X-ray focusing telescope in 1963, the development of grazing incidence X-ray optics has been crucial to the development of the field of X-ray astronomy. The recent Decadal Survey also highlights the important contribution that X-ray astronomy can make in addressing some of the most pressing scientific questions about black holes, cosmology and the ebb and flow of energy and matter in the evolving universe, and recognizes the research needed to mature the key enabling technology of X-ray optics. The proposed development directly addresses this need by providing a unique detector designed specifically to support the development of the next generation of X-ray telescopes, which will allow researchers and engineers to characterize such X-ray telescopes with high accuracy, and thereby optimize their performance and best utilize their gathered data. By the end of the Phase II program we will have developed a fully calibrated detector ready for use at various facilities, including NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and other NASA-funded research centers such as the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Columbia University. The estimated technology readiness levels (TRLs) at the beginning and end of the Phase II contract are 5 and 6, respectively.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The value of this type of detector, a high-performance X-ray imaging camera, is evident from our Phase I results, where our prototype detector played a crucial role in the ground calibration of the two X-ray telescopes that will fly on the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission, a NASA SMEX (Small Explorer program) mission scheduled for launch in 2012. The proposed detector, with its enhanced performance, will allow its use for several specific new missions and mission areas, including future X-ray missions for space astronomical observatories, which include the Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager (FOXSI), Spectrum Roentgen Gamma (SRG, using a medium-X-ray-energy survey instrument ART-XC), and the Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium Explorer (WHIMex) Mission. Furthermore, the proposed detector can be used for in-situ characterization during X-ray mirror assembly, as is performed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and MSFC.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Due to its high intrinsic spatial resolution, individual X-ray and gamma-ray photon counting ability, spectral resolution suitable for many applications, and large imaging area, the proposed detector is expected to find numerous applications in fields of high resolution X-ray/gamma-ray detection, small animal single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and other nuclear medicine applications, X-ray medical imaging (including mammography, digital tomosynthesis and computed tomography), time-resolved X-ray diffraction studies at synchrotron sources, dynamic X-ray imaging of hypervelocity projectiles, X-ray microscopy, and low-light optical tomography. With its very high spatial resolution and high frame rate performance, this imaging detector may also be used for dynamic nondestructive evaluations (NDEs) of spacecraft and other components, which are routinely performed for quality assurance and design improvement purposes. The current annual commercial market for X-ray and nuclear imagers is estimated to be several billion dollars, a significant fraction of which represents areas where the proposed detector technology may be utilized.

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.)
Ionizing Radiation
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE; NDT)
Telescope Arrays
X-rays/Gamma Rays

Form Generated on 12-15-11 17:36