NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 X3.03-9754
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Environmental Monitoring and Fire Protection for Spacecraft Autonomy
PROPOSAL TITLE: Improved Combustion Products Monitor for the ISS

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)
Joel Silver
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11
Santa Fe, NM 87505 - 3993
(505) 984-1322

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The Compound Specific Analyzer – Combustion Products, used on the International Space Station as a warning monitor of smoldering or combustion events, is being phased out of service. Southwest Sciences Inc. proposes to develop a replacement laser-based analyzer using wavelength modulation spectroscopic absorption. This device would be capable of real-time measurements of the four most important gases of interest (carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, and hydrogen fluoride) at concentration levels relevant to pre-combustion events and with a 1 second response time. This battery-operated device would be hand-held, use very little electrical power, and have a multi-year lifetime without the need for consumables, re-calibration, or maintenance, in contrast to the currently-used analyzer.

The Phase I research focused on what we believe are the most critical risks to using our approach. All of these objectives were successfully accomplished, laying a strong foundation for continuation of the research in Phase II. In Phase II, a fully functional prototype analyzer, meeting all of the requirements for operation in the International Space Station, will be built and tested. Issues relating to space-qualification will be identified so as to ease the transition to Phase III and subsequent development.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Successful development of an integrated, robust fire detection sensor will allow NASA to adopt a high-reliability system for detection of smoldering and/or fires in the International Space Station and other manned spacecraft. Such systems will become more important as extended-duration flights to the Moon and Mars begin. The same gas sensing platform also could be used for meeting the needs for a multi-gas sensor for monitoring cabin air, gas regeneration, and life support systems.

This same gas sensor could also be used on a wide variety of platforms (e.g. aircraft, balloons, ground-based network, etc.). Since it is designed for long-term operation with minimal attention and maintenance, it is expected to find use in validation of remote data sensing obtained from planned NASA atmospheric research missions. 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.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential non-NASA customers include the U.S. Navy for fire and environmental sensors in submarines, and the Air Force and commercial airline manufacturers for fire and air quality sensors in aircraft. For environmental monitoring, more generalized compact gas sensing customers include the Department of Energy, academic researchers, and industrial plants where air quality or smokestack emissions are a concern. Many of these latter needs are driven by regulatory agency requirements and this market is increasing.

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.)
Fire Protection
Health Monitoring & Sensing (see also Sensors)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)

Form Generated on 11-06-12 18:12