NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 O3.02-9621
PROPOSAL TITLE: Remotely Controlled Mixers for LMM Colloid Samples

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: 3
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Designation of the International Space Station (ISS) as a National Laboratory creates exciting opportunities for a broad spectrum of researchers to take advantage of ISS's unique space attributes and scientific research facilities. The Light Microscopy Module (LMM), which was developed and is being managed by the NASA Glen Research Center (GRC), is currently operating on the ISS and has supported many high profile research experiments. LMM could yield many more astonishing results if auxiliary subsystems were available to complement its capabilities. For example, Techshot is currently developing the LMM-Dynamic Stage (LMM-DS), which will satisfy a host of new experiments proposed for LMM. However, GRC has many more researchers awaiting the essential auxiliary subsystems to efficiently conduct colloid science experiments in the LMM, which could lead to new advanced materials with exciting commercial potential. Capitalizing on Techshot's rapid progress with the LMM-DS, as well as the company's vast array of separations technologies and extensive experience with microfluidic systems, a series of Colloid Homogenization Modules (CHM) will be developed by Techshot for use in the LMM-DS. These innovative low-volume mixing devices will enable uniform particle density and remotely controlled repetition of LMM colloids experiments. In addition CHM will minimize crew time, as well as avert the need for multiple, costly colloid samples that are expended after only one examination. The CHM subsystems are an extremely important analytical microgravity research technology that will greatly enhance the capability of the LMM, thereby enabling ISS to become even more effective as a national laboratory.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed CHM devices offer important new technology needed for on-orbit analysis, as well as the chance to leverage existing ISS facilities for new scientific payloads. This is expected to lead to many new potential NASA commercial applications and opportunities. In particular, Techshot expects to commercialize the CHM by incorporating it into the company's spaceflight service program that it offers to NASA mission programs, as well as to other Government agencies, including investigators funded by the National Institute of Health's Biomed-ISS program. The CHM family of devices provides unique opportunities to remotely control and facilitate colloids experiments and other similar fluidic experiments on the ISS LMM. By further automating the experiment process, CHM allows more colloid samples to be processed in a shorter period of time, while at the same time minimizing the need for crew member involvement. The improved capability afforded by CHM will enable more colloids experiments to be conducted and lead to far more efficient and productive use of the LMM. Overall, the science research community will be better served with increased capacity of processing experiments on the LMM, and NASA can more fully realize its goal of utilizing ISS as a national laboratory.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Techshot serves as an Implementation Partner to NASA for enabling space flight experimentation on ISS. Building on its heritage of developing and integrating space flight hardware, as well as conducting scientific research in space, Techshot offers flight experiment services to non-NASA customers, such as researchers from universities and the private sector. Techshot's successful space flight experiments with processing facilities like the Avian Development Facility (ADF) and the ADvanced Space Experiment Processor (ADSEP) position the company as a leader in offering these unique services. Soon, the Light Microscopy Module – Dynamic Stage (LMM-DS), coupled with the innovative capabilities of CHM, which can facilitate more efficient LMM fluidic experiments, are expected to give Techshot an even greater competitive advantage in attracting microgravity research customers. Furthermore, with the ability of commercial launch vehicles (e.g. SpaceX, Orbital Science) to get more experiment samples into orbit, once these vehicles begin routine visits to the ISS, the economics of transporting and processing materials in microgravity should become far more compelling. Eventually, given sufficient economical commercial launch vehicle transporting capacity, when coupled with Techshot's cadre of space processing equipment, CHM could become an important element for processing larger quantities of high-value materials in the unique microgravity environment of space.

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.)
Adaptive Optics
Analytical Methods
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Biophysical Utilization
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Process Monitoring & Control

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43