NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 09.02-1322

PROJECT TITLE: A novel sensor for spacecraft/habitat chemical contamination

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

We propose development of a novel, microscale mass spectrometer system for continuous monitoring of air and, perhaps, recycled water in spacecraft/habitat environments. Upon completion of the Phase I and II programs we anticipate delivering a prototype sensor characterized by small size, low power consumption, long term unattended operation, sensitivity to a wide variety of potential contaminants, self-calibration, and intelligent data assessment. The entire instrument will fit within a soda can (including electronics) and will consume ~10 W of electrical power. Our approach combines two recent innovations: the invention of a microscale, low power, double-focusing mass spectrometer now being developed by Mass Sensors, and the invention of a novel ionization modulation technique by Southwest Sciences that permits direct, mass spectral analysis of mixtures without requiring chromatographic separation.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The proposed analyzer represents a dramatic improvement in size and performance over existing mass-spectrometric detectors and, with a target selling price of under $2,000, will undercut current mass spectrometer costs by over an order of magnitude. Commercial applications include automotive emissions testing, air quality monitoring, industrial hygiene, environmental cleanup monitoring, and industrial process control for semiconductor fabrication and petrochemical production. Biomedical applications include blood gas monitoring and anesthesia delivery control.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

David S. Bomse
Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco Street; Suite E-11
Santa Fe , NM 87505-3993

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco St. Suite E-11
Santa Fe , NM 87505-3993