NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-2 S1.09-9206
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Surface & Sub-surface Measurement Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Precision Remote Sensor for Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mesa Photonics, LLC
1550 Pacheco Street
Santa Fe, NM 87505 - 3914
(505) 216-5015

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Bomse
1550 Pacheco St.
Santa Fe, NM 87505 - 3914
(505) 216-5015

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Bomse
1550 Pacheco St.
Santa Fe, NM 87505 - 3914
(505) 216-5015

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Surface & Sub-surface Measurement Systems is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The Phase II project will lead to the design, construction, and field-testing of a prototype PHOCS instrument for atmospheric column retrievals of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide wavelength range may also be extended to add methane and carbon monoxide measurements depending on laser performance. The prototype will include the improvement to heterodyne spectroscopy invented in Phase I. The project will move Mesa Photonics' technology toward commercializing compact, portable instruments that combine high spectral resolution with high sensitivity and rapid data acquisition.

The requirements for implementing a successful Phase II prototype are straightforward responses to the lessons learned in Phase I. The Phase II work plan will implement the following hardware improvements:
� Mount the light collection optics on a commercial solar tracker that has a built-in GPS to simplify setup at different locations.
� Replace the current external cavity laser used for the oxygen spectral range with a laser having two orders of magnitude better wavelength repeatability and an order of magnitude faster wavelength switching speed.
� Eliminate the electronic noise canceller. Phase I results showed that fluctuations in collected sunlight intensity is the dominant PHOCS noise source. Laser excess noise is small in comparison. The Phase I invention does a much better job of improving sensitivity than does the noise canceller.
� Switch from a narrowly tunable laser to a widely tunable one for carbon dioxide measurements. As with oxygen, the improved laser will allow fast measurements of selected absorption lines.
� Consolidate the signal processing electronics onto a custom-built, compact, low-power circuit board and replace the commercial lock-in amplifier with new dual, single-board lock-in amplifier that Mesa Photonics has developed.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
High-resolution, ground-based atmospheric column measurements are now made using solar occultation with high-resolution Fourier transform spectrometers. Called "transportable," rather than portable, these spectrometers are used worldwide by the NASA-funded Total Carbon Column Observation Network (TCCON). These ground-based instruments also have an important role in aiding analysis of satellite remote sensing data. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) team expects to use TCCON atmospheric profiling results to aid analysis of the space-based carbon dioxide and methane remote sensing data. The OCO-2 satellite is scheduled for launch in 2014.

PHOCS instruments will provide atmospheric column information to NASA from locations that are inaccessible to TCCON instruments. By narrowing our measurements to just one species, oxygen, we will be able to determine precise distributions of temperature and pressure fluctuations from the ground to the top of the atmosphere. These distributions are critical information needed for interpreting satellite data.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A secondary market for the proposed technology is for unobtrusive remote sensors that can detect hydrogen fluoride (HF) emissions from clandestine nuclear fuel processing.

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
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)
Fiber (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Photonics)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 03-04-14 13:38