NASA 1999 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER 99-1 01.06-1322 (Chron: 990912)

PROJECT TITLE

A Rugged LED-based Sensor for Fire Detection


TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

In March 1988, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a rule change requiring commercial aircraft to install smoke detection systems in cargo compartments to control the risk of on board fires, which have caused more than 30 accidents and 250 deaths in the United States in the last 14 years. Conventional smoke and gas detectors have a tendency for high false alarm rates, and worse, some gas detectors have a tendency not to alarm at dangerously high gas concentrations. Thus, Southwest Sciences proposes a novel, low-weight, and low-cost fire detection technology based on optical spectroscopy using Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). Rapid, quantitative detection of part per million concentrations of multiple gases including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, and acetylene, and others are possible. In the proposed device, gas concentrations are measured separately, which greatly reduces the chances of a false alarm. The proposed instrument is self-calibrating and self-checking to reduce long term maintenance costs. The technology uses miniature LEDs and detectors that are rugged, low-weight, low-cost, and require little power. The Phase I effort will validate the proposed technology with measurements of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.


POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The proposed instrument can be used for early fire detection in aircraft cargo compartments, and other inaccessible locations within an airframe. The commercial applications of the proposed instrument extend to fire safety in any location requiring fast and accurate detection of a fire, including, but not limited to: storage warehouses, industrial settings, large office buildings, shopping malls, etc. This technology could also be applied to spacecraft fire safety, providing fire detection for long-duration manned space missions. Additionally, the same technology used for fire detection can be used for air quality monitoring, for a wide range of gases, in almost any setting.


NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail

Address,

City/State/Zip)

Jeffrey S. Goldmeer

Southwest Sciences, Inc.

1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11

Santa Fe , NM 87505 - 3993


NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Southwest Sciences, Inc.

1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11

Santa Fe , NM 87505 - 3993