NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 S1.09-9227
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In Situ Sensors and Sensor Systems for Planetary Science
PROPOSAL TITLE: Deep UV Semiconductor Sources for Advanced Planetary Science Instruments

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Photon Systems
15112 Industrial Park Street
Covina, CA 91722 - 3417
(626) 967-6431

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
William F Hug
1512 Industrial Park St
Covina, CA 91722 - 3417
(626) 626-6431

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This proposal addresses the need for miniature, narrow-linewidth, deep UV optical sources that operate at very low ambient temperatures for use in advanced in situ planetary science instruments for non-contact detection and classification of trace amounts of organic, inorganic, and biogenic materials using Raman and native fluorescence spectroscopic methods. The sources include aluminum gallium nitride semiconductor lasers and ultra-narrow-linewidth transverse excited hollow cathode lasers emitting between 210 nm to 250 nm, a spectral range with demonstrated higher detection sensitivity and specificity than sources emitting at longer wavelengths. Applications include non-contact robot-arm or body mounted chemical imaging instruments and detectors for direct analysis of trace levels of chemical species containing C, N, H, O, S, Cl, on surfaces or as extractions from soil, rock, or ice.
We have achieved the highest recorded deep UV semiconductor internal quantum efficiencies at wavelengths below 250 nm. But continuing difficulties of attaining laser emission and prospects for narrow line-width compatible with Raman applications has caused us to redirect a significant portion of the Phase II effort to another class of deep UV laser with a more proven UV Raman track record and the potential for miniaturization for robot-arm-mounted applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
These fundamental deep UV optical source technologies are useful for a broad range of in situ measurements for: space science and terrestrial geochemical, geophysical and geobiological studies; planetary protection applications such as measuring/characterizing organic or biogenic contamination on outbound and inbound spacecraft; and for general application to high quality non-invasive, non-destructive measurement of trace levels of chemical species containing C, N, H, O, S, Cl, and/or water, ice, and hydrated minerals on surfaces, in liquids and in the air, such as aboard the International Space Station or for the 2018 Mars. The proposed sources will provide the ability to measure trace levels of organic material at working distances up to 1 meter or more. For space science applications, this would enable a Rover-body mounted instrument that could interrogate the vicinity of the Rover. For terrestrial applications the stand-off measurements could be made in full sun-light conditions at least for Raman and potentially for the deep UV native fluorescence emissions. For planetary protection applications it would enable direct measurement of bioloads on spacecraft surfaces without the need for sample collection using traditional methods.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The deep UV source technologies being addressed by this proposal are immediately useful for Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) applications as well as non-government commercial and industrial applications. DOD and DHS applications include in situ chemical, biological, and explosives sensors to detect trace levels of biological, nerve, and blister agents as well as low-volatility toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) and explosives at moderate standoff distances.
In addition, a broad range of non-government commercial and industrial applications are addressed by the proposed deep UV sources including: environmental testing of water, soil and air; municipal and industrial water and waste-water quality testing; commercial product quality control testing of manufactured food, pharmaceutical, chemical, semiconductor, and other commercial products; clinical medical diagnosics instruments; and a wide range of research applications enabled by the core technologies developed on this program.

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.

Biomedical and Life Support
Biomolecular Sensors
In-situ Resource Utilization
Optical & Photonic Materials
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Sterilization/Pathogen and Microbial Control
Waste Processing and Reclamation

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26