NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: B3.04-9678 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 012321 )
Automated Microbiological Water Quality Monitor

In order to permit humans to live and work safely in space NASA has a need for in flight automated monitoring of microbiological water quality in regenerative life support systems. Such monitoring is used to ensure and maintain water treatment efficacy and protect crew health. Existing standard microbiological monitoring techniques are labor intensive and/or produce large volumes of biological and chemical waste. These factors render these methods unattractive for in-flight monitoring use. We propose an innovative multi-sample, in-line, automated system for the enumeration of heterotrophic indicator bacteria in water supplies. These organisms are commonly used to monitor efficacy of water treatment and disinfection processes. This innovative fluidics-based integrative technology makes use of in-line automated sampling, metabolic cell indicators, and photometry. The proposed system is automated, rugged, minimally sample consumptive/waste productive, small and low power. The technology is also adaptable for detection of other microbial indicators, allowing for use in regulatory compliance monitoring. The system eliminates the need for manual sampling (which can cause sample contamination itself), shipping (if required), and laboratory-based analysis. Significant commercial potential exists with such a monitoring system for public and critical applications water supply monitoring. These include drinking, bathing and industrial applications waters.

The automated microbiological water monitor (AMWM) will be of interest to entities currently collecting and performing microbiological analyses in-house, or transporting samples to laboratories. There are two general commercial application classes; regulatory compliance monitoring and general use monitoring. Some potential commercial applications are listed below.
-Automated compliance monitoring of public drinking and bathing water supplies.
-Automated monitoring of industrial process waters, such as those used in pharaceutical, food, and critical component (silicon chip, etc.) production.
-Automated medical and dental water supply monitoring.
-Automated monitoring of bottled water production.

This technology will allow these systems to automate their microbiological monitoring. This will save labor, shipping, data tracking and reduce incidence of manual sampling-based sample contamination. For remote water supplies, this technology will eliminate the need for an in-house laboratory, or time-, and temperature-sensitive shipping of samples to distant laboratories for analysis.
Straightforward technology modification for detection of other/additional microbial contaminants (example total coliforms, E. coli) will increase the number of commercial applications.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
James J. Smith
Montana Microbiological Services,llc.
2010 N. 7th Ave.
Bozeman , MT   59715 - 2576

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Montana Microbiological Services,llc.
2010 N. 7th Ave.
Bozeman , MT   59715 - 2576

Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44