|PROPOSAL NUMBER:||03- II S4.01-8286|
|SUBTOPIC TITLE:||Science Instruments for Conducting Solar System Exploration|
|PROPOSAL TITLE:||A Miniaturized and Robust FTS Sensor|
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER
(Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Scott R Davis
2927 Welton St.
Denver, CO 80205-3021
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes
TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Vescent Photonics determined the feasibility of a miniaturized, robust, Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) for either in-situ or remote chemical and spectral analysis. During this phase I effort we investigated innovative, optical waveguide technology, capable of providing an unprecedented, entirely electro-optic replacement for millimeter or even centimeter scale mechanical mirror translation. This technology, developed by Vescent Photonics, enables a fully integrated FTS chemical sensor unit. The attributes of this sensor: i) small size, comparable to a book of matches, ii) low mass, only tens of grams, iii) small energy consumption, < 10-3 Watt-hours per measurement, iv) high sensitivity, detectable chemical densities < 1013 per cm3, and v) robust monolithic construction, are aptly suited for future NASA missions. Such a sensor can be integrated and deployed with a variety of exploration platforms. A single device will provide identification and quantification of multiple compounds (e.g., biogenically important CH4, NOx, NH3, H2O, and many more).
POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The tremendous size and cost reductions realized by our device will open markets for FTS systems. Current commercial systems are table-top sized, require on-board computers, and cost in excess of $40k. We propose a sensor that could fit it ones palm and enjoy the economy of scale for large volume production. In one embodiment, such a device could serve as a dedicated, in-situ, detector for a multitude of target species. Possible implementations could be automotive exhaust, industrial waste monitoring, agricultural quality control, fuel analysis, plastics sorting for recycling, and general manufacturing control. Furthermore, the robust nature permits placement in hostile and otherwise inaccessible environments.
POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Deployable on a variety of platforms, a single FTS sensor could identify multiple chemical species. This sensor can be configured to either have an onboard light source, such as the superluminescent diode (SLD) array, or utilize the sun as a light source and solar concentrators to collect the light into the waveguide interferometer. This second embodiment has the dual advantage of i) the path length through the atmosphere is many kilometers and ii) a power consumptive SLD array is not required.