NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Astrobiology and Atmospheric Instruments for Planetary Exploration
PROPOSAL TITLE:Sensor Array Analyzer for Planetary Exploration

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Scribner Associates Incorporated
150 E. Connecticut Ave
Southern Pines, NC 28387-5528
(910) 695-8884

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kevin   Cooper
150 E. Connecticut Ave
Southern Pines, NC  28387-5528
(910) 695-8884

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Future planetary exploration missions such as those planned by NASA and other space agencies over the next few decades require advanced chemical and biological marker measurement technologies that will help answer fundamental questions about the composition of the Solar System and the possibility of past and present extraterrestrial life. Electrical/electrochemical array-based systems are highly suited for space and terrestrial applications because of their robustness, high-sensitivity, low-power requirement, inherent miniaturization capability through microfabrication, and diverse transducer mechanisms which permit detection of a broad range of chemical and biological targets. Scribner Associates will leverage its expertise in analytical instrumentation for arrays and impedance spectroscopy to develop an advanced array impedance analyzer for use with existing (e.g., Mars Oxidation Instrument) and future chemical and biological sensor arrays for planetary exploration. The instrument will be versatile: It will be capable of conducting DC and multi-frequency AC impedance measurement of arrays with large numbers of sensing elements. Successful development of the impedance array analyzer will facilitate multiple mission deployments with arrays tailored to specific mission objectives therefore ensuring efficient investment of NASA resources.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The array analyzer system will find direct application in NASA's Space Science program as it seeks to answer fundamental questions about the Solar System and life. As one component of a space science package, the multi-mission array analyzer could be deployed on orbiters, landers, and/or rovers sent to planetary bodies such as Mars. For each mission, the analyzer could be configured for the specific mission objectives at hand such as analysis of the planetary atmosphere (gases and particles), chemical and mineralogical analysis of materials (soil, dust, rock, liquid, and ice) and detection and identification of biomarkers of extinct or extant life such as pre-biotics, bio-molecules and bio-minerals. Finally, variants of the instrument could be used in portable electrical/electrochemical-sensor based laboratory and astronaut medical screening devices for manned missions similar to those being developed for use on Earth.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Small, low-power array analyzers will find numerous commercial applications. They are essential platforms on which to build chem/bio detection and assay devices for a broad range of applications including remote and automated environmental monitoring; medical diagnostics and near-patient clinical testing monitoring (such as bio-assays and blood analysis); utility and industrial process stream monitoring (such as waste water treatment evaluation); and homeland security (such as portable detectors for explosives and chemical and biological weapons). Growth in the sensor market indicates the need and demand for such technologies. Additional commercial applications of the proposed technology are as a research tool for accelerated sensor and sensor array development through the ability to adopt combinatorial materials and sensor development methods, and data analysis techniques. The proposed array analyzer is a unique, innovative technology with tremendous commercial potential as the basis for a range of portable chem/bio detection systems for on-site, remote, and laboratory application.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.


Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19