NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-2 S1.06-8099
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In Situ Sensors and Sensor Systems for Lunar and Planetary Science
PROPOSAL TITLE: Radiation Tolerant Temperature-Invariant Scintillation Modules

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472 - 4699
(617) 668-6801

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Erik Johnson
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472 - 4699
(617) 668-6886

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mary Abud
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472 - 4699
(617) 668-6809

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
In Situ Sensors and Sensor Systems for Lunar and Planetary Science 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)
Radiation detectors are an invaluable tool for space applications spanning planetary science, astrophysics, heliophysics, space weather, and dosimetry for human exploration. Scintillators are materials that generate a light flash with an intensity that is proportional to the ionizing energy deposited. However, scintillator efficiency gradually decays with increased exposure to radiation. For exploration missions to hostile environments, such as those around Jupiter, Venus or Mercury, large ionizing doses are expected for the scintillation material, rendering them useless. A common practice to mitigate dose effects is to anneal the scintillation materials. In addition, sensitivity, dictated by detector volume, is critical for science missions, such mapping H2O concentration over a planetary surface. This project will develop a scintillator module using advanced materials, such as Cs2LiYCl6(CLYC), LiSr2I5 (LSI), or Tl2LiYCl6 (TLYC), that provide both high-performance gamma ray and neutron spectroscopy within a single volume. Si photomultipliers (SiPM) will maximize the active volume relative to the total volume. The project will result in a large-volume, high-performance detector module, rigorously tested for flight, with protocols for annealing and science operation

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The development of this technology will serve instruments for planetary science missions. In the latest planetary science Decadal Survey (DS), gamma ray and neutron spectrometers are explicitly slated for a potential New Frontiers mission to complete a Trojan Tour and Rendezvous. The DS also highlights the need for increased sensitivity and reduction of mass for neutron/gamma spectrometers, which are both directly addressed by the small form factor for scintillation detectors, and the sensitivity improvements outlined above. These detectors could also be used to examine the surface of comets, the moon, and/or Venus in support of other DS recommended New Frontier Missions: Comet Surface Sample Return, Lunar South Pole-Aitken Basin Sample Return, Lunar Geophysical Network, and Venus In Situ Explorer. These potential missions could be proposed later in 2016 and onward. As a case in point, RMD is participating in the development of a neutron detector using CLYC for the LunaH Map mission for mapping out the lunar southern pole hydrogen content, particularly within permanently shadowed regions. RMD, as a subcontract to Arizona State University, is a part of the RAMA (volatile Resources, neutron Albedo, and MApping of hydrogen) proposal, and if awarded, will start early 2017. Though both of these missions are planned with photomultiplier tubes (as opposed to the SiPMs proposed here), advances in this project may be directly translated to these missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The robust testing required for space flight leads to a high-quality terrestrial instrument that will have uses for military and homeland security applications. Scintillation detectors are used in security applications where temperature conditions fluctuate and handling is rough, which is also valid for oil-well logging. For other applications, such as radiation monitors at nuclear reactors, the radiation tolerance must be high as the instruments can be exposed to low-doses for multiple years. Our technology will be an excellent fit for Personal Radiation Detectors (PRD), Spectroscopic Radiation Detectors (SPRD), in Radioisotope Identification Devices (RIIDs), Area Monitors, and in Stand-off detectors.

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.)
Ionizing Radiation
X-rays/Gamma Rays

Form Generated on 03-07-17 15:43