NASA SBIR 2020-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 20-1- H3.02-5370
 Microbial Monitoring for Spacecraft Cabins
 Real-time Non-destructive Microbial Water Monitoring for Spacecraft Cabins
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Orb Xyz
1700 4th Street, QB3 Room 219A
San Francisco, CA 94158
(415) 629-1620

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Dr. Andreia Michelle Smith-Moritz
1700 4th Street, QB3 Byers Hall #214 San Francisco, CA 94158 - 2330
(650) 743-7289

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Lorenzo Falzarano
1700 4th Street, QB3 Room 219A San Francisco, CA 94158 - 2330
(415) 620-1620
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 2
End: 3
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Safe drinking water for all spaceflight  will be sourced from recycled water from all forms of human waste products. There is a need for real time microbial monitoring to maintain safe potable water. Current inline diagnostics tools available for conventional water treatment are not bacteria or virus specific. Orb has developed a small inline optical monitoring and diagnostic device that can detect various water-borne pathogens and be used for real-time water quality assessment. Orb XYZ main commercial emphasis is the use of florescence spectroscopy in combination with machine learning algorithms to detect and quantify a large range of contaminants in water.

This precision spectroscopy analysis is based on the notion that high-quality compact spectrometers are capable of measuring subtle features with high repeatability that can be correlated with important biological or chemical processes.

The goal of this Phase-I SBIR effort is to build a breadboard platform to perform experiments based on previous Orb technologies to collect critical information necessary to develop a Phase-II prototype instrument capable of real-time monitoring of potable water systems contaminated by bacteria and viruses.  In Phase-I, in addition to using our previously established fluorescence spectroscopy methods for water monitoring, we have identified five additional highly innovative and necessary monitoring technologies that will be developed and demonstrated in this project:

  1. A unique laboratory breadboard system and machine-learning algorithm, will be developed and used to demonstrate detection technologies needed to meet NASA water monitoring requirements and enable innovations.
  2. The capability to differentiate between viable and non-viable bacterial cells. 
  3. The capability to differentiate between specific bacterial species utilizing precision spectroscopy. 
  4. The capability to measure bacterial metabolites.
  5. The capability to detect viruses and identify bacteria infected by viruses.
Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Orb’s real-time non-destructive microbial monitoring sensors can be easily embedded across spacecraft water recovery and delivery assets. Using precision spectroscopy hardware and machine learning, Orb eliminates the need for reagents, culturing or robotic processes. Passive inline sensors deliver the sensitivity, specificity & metabolic resolution needed to preemptively identify & address microbial risk across treatment barriers and dispensers.

Real-time parameters:

-Total/Viable Cell Counts - Rate of Growth/Death - Threshold Breach Prediction

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Orb has validated customers in the municipal, commercial & industrial water sectors for its rapid microbial monitoring solutions to preemptively identify & address microbial risk, mitigate compliance failures, and optimize water treatment.


-Monitor n-log reduction across critical utility treatment barriers -- Optimize chemical / UV treatment dosing -- Ingredient water bioburden monitoring


Duration: 6

Form Generated on 06/29/2020 21:07:51