NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 A2.02-9318
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Combustion for Aerospace Vehicles
PROPOSAL TITLE: An Ultra-Sensitive, Size Resolved Particle Mass Measurement Device

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Aerodyne Research, Inc.
45 Manning Road
Billerica, MA 01821 - 3976
(978) 663-9500

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
45 Manning Road
Billerica, MA 01821 - 3976
(978) 978-0214

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 8 to 9

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
By providing size resolved compositional information, the Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) has greatly advanced understanding of aircraft particulate matter (PM) emissions. AMS data have been critical to much of our understanding of aircraft PM emissions, but in the past it has had limited utility in probing the smallest (<100 nm) particles in the exhaust. Also, prior to this work the AMS has been able to detect only volatile PM and other instruments have been required to characterize the non-volatile (soot). During Phase I, we: 1) developed an improved computational fluid dynamic (CFD) model to simulate the performance of the AMS for <100 particles; 2) used the CFD model to invent a new AMS technology with improved performance for <100 nm particles; and 3) evaluated a newly developed instrument which combines a laser vaporization system with a standard AMS to provide size resolved mass and composition data for soot. During Phase II we propose: 1) upgrade our CFD modeling capability to three-dimensions to evaluate Brownian motion and the effects of fabrication imperfections; 2) fabricate and test the promising lens geometry invented during Phase I; 3) demonstrate the laser vaporization AMS and improved lens design(s) in the laboratory and in the field.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential NASA Applications
The technology we plan to develop has two primary NASA applications: 1) characterization of gas turbine exhaust PM and 2) characterization of atmospheric particles. In terms of gas turbine exhaust characterization, NASA is committed to assisting the aircraft engine industry reduce emissions. The drivers include reducing aviation impacts on local air quality and global climate change. Particle emissions are the single largest source of uncertainty in estimating potential effects of aircraft on the environment or climate. Improved instrumentation for characterizing gas turbine engine PM – both nucleation/growth mode volatile PM and non-volatile soot – is required to provide experimental data to guide combustor design improvements. In terms of atmospheric particles, NASA has sponsored a number of major field tests in the past several years, including Arc-Test. The Arc-Test mission, aimed at part to understand the phenomena of arctic haze and biomass burning, included participation of several AMS teams. Improved AMS instruments – with the capability of detecting smaller particles characteristic of atmospheric nucleation and non-volatile soot – is required to provide more comprehensive data sets in future NASA atmospheric chemistry and physics missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential Non-NASA Commercial Applications
The aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) has been an important tool to characterize the size resolved composition of particulate matter (PM), and the improvements we envision will further expand its capabilities in defense, engine manufacturing, biomedical, chemical, and energy. For defense sector applications, improved AMS performance would make it useful for detection and characterization of chemical and biological weapons attacks. For engine manufacturers, especially manufacturers of diesel engines, the improved performance of the aerodynamic lens combined with the capability to directly obtain size resolved soot measurements is critical to guide efforts to design end-of-pipe exhaust treatments. In the biomedical field, aerosol drug delivery is an important therapy for a growing number of treatments, including insulin. Moreover, the potential human health impacts of nanotechnology and nanotechnology enhanced consumer products is becoming an area of increasing concern. In the chemical industry, nanoparticles have become an important part of many commercial products and chemical processes. On-line characterization of functional nanoparticles is therefore an important application of the new technologies. For energy applications, PM emissions of clean coal power plants are to come under tighter regulation and an instrument that can monitor and characterize the PM emissions will improve efforts to reduce power plant emissions.

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.

Aircraft Engines
Particle and Fields

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26