NASA STTR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 T5.01-9938
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Planetary Compositional Analysis and Mapping
PROPOSAL TITLE: Lab-on-a-Robot Platform for in-situ Planetary Compositional Analysis

NAME: HJ Science & Technology, Inc. NAME: University of Texas, San Antonio
STREET: 187 Saratoga Avenue STREET: One UTSA Circle
CITY: Santa Clara CITY: San Antonio
STATE/ZIP: CA  95050 - 6657 STATE/ZIP: TX  78249 - 1644
PHONE: (408) 464-3873 PHONE: (210) 458-8784

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Hong Jiao
187 Saratoga Avenue
Santa Clara, CA 95050 - 6657
(408) 464-3873

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 6
End: 8

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This joint STTR research effort between HJ Science & Technology and the University of Texas at San Antonio seeks to establish a highly integrated mobile "lab-on-a-chip" platform – next generation "lab-on-a-robot" (LOAR) - capable of in-situ, high throughput, and simultaneous identification and characterization of universal classes of ions, molecules, and biomolecules for NASA in-situ planetary compositional analysis, and planetary and small body surface chemistry studies. The technology combines programmable microfluidic on-chip automation of sample processing, microchip capillary electrophoresis with contactless conductivity and optical detections, and integration with the next generation LOAR mobile platform in a miniaturized format. Such a mobile platform for the miniaturized instrument will lay the groundwork for future NASA in situ robotic missions. In Phase I, we have established the technical feasibility by demonstrating all key functionalities. This includes the separation and detection of selective ions that are relevant to the aqueous chemistry and reactivity of the Martian surface material with a novel microfab-less microfluidic device and the demonstration of the on-chip automated sample processing capability with a novel microvalve platform. The Phase II effort will include expanding and enhancing the performance capability of the novel microfab-less microfluidic device, integrating the on-chip automation technology to the microfluidic device and demonstrate the capability of the programmable on-chip automation of sample processing, and the design, construction, and test of a next generation LOAR prototype.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed next generation "lab-on-a-robot" technology has great potential for NASA in-situ planetary and small body surface chemistry studies. In particular, the mobile platform in conjunction with the microchip capillary electrophoresis, contactless conductivity detection, and the on-chip automation of sample processing is ideally suited for simultaneous inorganic ion detection and analysis complementary to the "lab-on-a-chip" miniaturization of MECA's wet chemistry laboratory at JPL. The successful research effort will result in reduction in size, weight, power consumption, and cost of in-situ space probes. In addition, the proposed technology can also be used for on-chip biosensors, electrochemical sensors, on-chip sample separations, reactions, derivatizations, as well as for fluid positioning, mixing, metering, storage, and filtering systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed "lab-on-a-robot" has broader commercial applications including monitoring environmental pollutants that are a potential concern for human health on Earth. The proposed technology is particularly relevant to in-situ analysis of environmental samples because currently the samples have to be physically acquired, transported, and then processed in the laboratory. Exposure of personnel to untested environments, sample degradation, contamination, and labor-intensive analytical protocols obviate the necessity for testing systems capable of performing on-site analysis and transmit the results autonomously. Compared with conventional laboratory based measurement techniques, the in-situ measurement capability of the portable and mobile platform offers important advantages including reduction in time and cost, real-time data for better and more timely decision making, and reduction in sample consumption.

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)
Analytical Methods
Biological Signature (i.e., Signs Of Life)
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)

Form Generated on 02-28-13 11:49