NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-A1.01-7655 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 035352)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Crew Systems Technologies for Improved Airspace Safety and Security
PROPOSAL TITLE:Crew Cerebral Oxygen Monitor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Spire Corp
One Patriots Park
Bedford ,MA 01730 - 2396
(781) 275 - 6000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kurt J. Linden
klinden@spirecorp.com
One Patriots Park
Bedford ,MA  01730 -2396
(781) 275 - 6000
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
This Phase I SBIR proposal is aimed at developing a non-invasive, optical method for monitoring the state of consciousness of crew members in operational environments. Utilizing differences in wavelength-dependent optical absorption between oxygenated and deoxygenated blood, pulsed laser diodes of selected wavelengths and symmetrically-placed photodetectors will be used to monitor the scattered light signals. Changes between these light signals and those established by prior baseline measurements will be monitored and interpreted using appropriate algorithms. Continuous monitoring of the mental state of personnel engaged in critical activities could provide a means of protection against human performance lapses resulting from unforeseen circumstances. Operational crew members are often subject to stress, increasing the possibility of operator mistakes or oversight. If a deterioration of the state of consciousness of an individual can be detected before that individual?s performance is affected, serious accidents or lapses in operator performance could be avoided. Phase I will establish feasibility, and Phase II will produce and evaluate a prototype monitoring instrument.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
NASA applications specifically revolve around real-time, non-invasive monitoring of crew performance and state of mental consciousness. This is of major importance to mission safety and performance. Brain activity measurements, as determined by direct measurement of cerebral blood oxygenation, are expected to directly monitor crew health, stress level, state of duress, and general performance. The proposed cerebral oximetry method holds the potential for providing a reliable, low-cost, supplemental method of crew health monitoring.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The benefits of the proposed technology are expected to be of great importance to the government, industry, transportation and medical sectors of the economy. In the transportation area, operational crew members are often subject to stress, increasing the possibility of operator mistakes or oversight. If a deterioration of the state of consciousness of an individual can be detected before that individual?s performance is affected, serious accidents or lapses in operator performance could be avoided. Similar benefits are expected for other public industries such as in the medical and military sectors, where crew performance is critical.