NASA STTR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 T6.01-9981
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Gas Sensing Technology Advancements for Spacesuits
PROPOSAL TITLE: Compact Raman Air Sensor

NAME: Mesa Photonics, LLC NAME: University of Central Florida
STREET: 1550 Pacheco Street STREET: 12201 Research Parkway, Suite 501
CITY: Santa Fe CITY: Orlando
STATE/ZIP: NM  87505 - 3914 STATE/ZIP: FL  32826 - 3246
PHONE: (505) 216-5015 PHONE: (407) 823-3778

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr Marwood Ediger
1550 Pacheco Street
Santa Fe, NM 87505 - 3914
(505) 216-5015

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

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 6
End: 7

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Gas Sensing Technology Advancements for Spacesuits 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)
Mesa Photonics, in collaboration with the College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL) at the University of Central Florida, proposes to develop a spacesuit gas sensor based upon its Enhanced Raman Gas Sensor (ERGS) technology. The goal a moisture tolerant, drop-in replacement for the current CO2 sensor. Preliminary work achieved detection sensitivities for CO2, CH4, O2, and N2 of 1000, 300, 1000 and 1500 ppm, respectively. ERGS reports gas partial pressures directly and can operate tolerate pure oxygen. The response to all gases is linear from 0 to 100%. No consumable supplies are required and ERGS is self-calibrating.

The ERGS technique is compact and robust and has low electrical power requirements. Its detection performance and physical characteristics make it well suited as a flight-capable system spacesuit gas sensor. ERGS detects gases by recording the Raman spectrum of a gas mixture flowing through a short length (~50 cm) of hollow-core photonic crystal fiber (HC-PCF). Sensitivity is more than 800 times better than conventional Raman spectroscopy since the gas and light confinement increases the Raman interaction length.

This proposed STTR project is designed to bring ERGS technology from its current TRL 6 to TRL 8 or 9 at the end of Phase II. Phase I work by Mesa Photonics includes improving ERGS optical design, verifying gas measurement accuracy over a wide range of mixture compositions and total pressures, and testing response to condensing moisture. The CREOL team will design custom HC-PCF that is better matched to ERGS wavelength requirements and, possibly, have a larger diameter hollow core. In Phase II, Mesa will build, test, and deliver a prototype gas that will include custom fiber produced at CREOL based on the hollow-core designs from Phase I. The Phase II prototype will have a similar footprint to the existing Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) gas sensor.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary end-use of the technology developed in this project is to replace currently under-performing gas sensor technology in NASA's Portable Life Support System. The ERGS-based sensor developed in this project is anticipated to meet mission requirements for current the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) and the upcoming Advanced EMU. The ERGS sensor offers the advantage of simultaneous measurement of key breathing air constituents (CO2, O2 and N2) and advancements during the proposed project may enable measurement of ammonia and water vapor. The proposed ERGS platform will deliver accurate, precise measurements in a compact and robust package.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
ERGS was initially developed for soil gas sensing in applications like carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) sites. Since ERGS can sensitively measure CO2, O2, N2 and CH4 simultaneously in real-time, it can provide the gas partial pressure data necessary to discern naturally occurring CO2 versus any leakage in the containment system. The ability to account for all key environmental gases, unattended, with a small footprint and low power requirements and without the need for supplies or consumables make it an ideal solution for networks of sensors around CCS sites. Advancement to the technology achieved in the proposed project will have direct implications to the application of ERGS for CCS and other terrestrial gas sensing applications.

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.)
Biological (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)
Fiber (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Photonics)
Health Monitoring & Sensing (see also Sensors)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Protective Clothing/Space Suits/Breathing Apparatus

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37