NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X13.01-9865
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Active Charged Particle and Neutron Radiation Measurement Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: ADIS-type Charged Particle Spectrometer for Manned Space Radiation Dosimetry

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
9950 Wakeman Drive
Manassas, VA 20110 - 2702
(703) 369-3633

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
John Merk
1 Broadway, 12th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142 - 1189
(617) 500-0281

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 2 to 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
As manned missions to the moon and eventually Mars gain momentum, astronaut crews will be sent back to the deepest parts of space humans have ever traveled, and will continue deeper into space than ever before. Once outside the protection of the Earth's magnetic field, astronauts become fully exposed to an array of dangerous charged particles, both cosmic rays (CRs) and Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs). There exists a need to provide a comprehensive picture of the energetic charged particle environment within manned space vehicles to accurately measure and mitigate the crew's exposure to these hazardous radiations. Along with our partner, the University of New Hampshire (UNH), Aurora Flight Sciences proposes to develop a compact (low volume, mass and power) charged particle spectrometer for manned space vehicles based on heritage from similar spaceflight telescopes using Si solid state detectors and scintillators. The proposed instrument will be capable of detecting and identifying charged particles with single element resolution, performing on-board, real-time data reduction and providing rate and composition data over five to seven approximately logarithmically spaced energy intervals corresponding to ~10-200 MeV for protons, with integral measurements for higher energies.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The principal application for the proposed technology is manned space radiation monitoring. The technology for a low mass telescope of this type, however, has several other potential applications for NASA: Probes to Mars and the Moon often include radiation instruments to learn more of potential hazards for future manned missions (e.g. RAD on the Mars Science Laboratory). Deep space missions, such as Solar Sentinels and Solar Probe, etc., almost invariably include space radiation instruments with similar capabilities for basic research. Missions for Space Weather research use such instruments as well. Reduced mass electronics would be of great benefit for any such applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Ground applications for heavy ion instrumentation is extremely limited. High energy heavy ions are only found in specialized accelerators on Earth. (Space radiation ions fragment in the atmosphere before reaching the ground.) Space based applications for space weather monitoring (e.g. the NOAA funded GOES-R program) is one obvious application. Since the particles measured by the proposed instrument are the main cause of Single Event Effects (SEE), other similar monitoring applications are a likely market.

Other non-NASA applications include the Department of Defense. The DoD is moving more of its assets to higher orbits in response to the ASAT threat in low earth orbit, thereby increasing exposure to radiation events. As a result, monitoring of the radiation environment for these assets will be critical.

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.

Optical & Photonic Materials
Particle and Fields
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56