NASA STTR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 T6.02-9858
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Portable Sensor Technology for High-Purity Oxygen Determination
PROPOSAL TITLE: Highly Accurate Sensor for High-Purity Oxygen Determination

NAME: Los Gatos Research NAME: The University of Wisconsin - Madison
STREET: 67 East Evelyn Avenue, Suite 3 STREET: 21 North Park Street, Suite 6401
CITY: Mountain View CITY: Madison
STATE/ZIP: CA  94041 - 1518 STATE/ZIP: WI  53715 - 1218
PHONE: (650) 965-7772 PHONE: (608) 262-3822

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Manish Gupta
67 East Evelyn Avenue, Suite 3
Mountain View, CA 94041 - 1518
(650) 965-7772

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In this STTR Phase I effort, Los Gatos Research (LGR) and Professor Scott Sanders (Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Wisconsin – Madison) propose to develop a highly-accurate sensor for high-purity oxygen determination. The analyzer, which is based on near-infrared tunable diode laser absorption spectrometry (TDLAS) and LGR's patented Off-Axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectrometry (Off-Axis ICOS), will be capable of rapidly quantifying high-purity oxygen (95 – 100 %) with very high accuracy (to better than ± 0.05 %), minimal calibration, and no zero drift. The analysis will be completely specific and exhibit no measurable cross-interferences from other background species (e.g. argon, nitrogen, water vapor, CO, CO2, or small organics). Moreover, the analyzer will be low-power, battery-operable, require no consumables, and sufficiently compact and robust for adaptability to future space missions. The high-purity oxygen sensor will help characterize NASA oxygen generators for breathing and propulsion applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In low-pressure environments similar to those found during spacewalks or high-altitude flights, manned deployments require high-purity oxygen for breathing applications. This oxygen can be generated via in-situ resource utilization of extraplanetary regolith or extraction from ambient air. Both strategies involve using zeolite and carbon molecular sieves to remove other trace gases, and it is critical to continuously monitor the oxygen purity to optimize the generator conditions (e.g. gas flow rates, zeolite temperature, etc…), and account for sieve saturation, and quantify aging effects. Current technologies, including gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and electrochemical detection, cannot accurately quantify minute changes oxygen purity without the use of consumables and calibration.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Besides its application to NASA, an ultrasensitive, lightweight oxygen analyzer also has significant commercial application for industrial process control monitoring and scientific instrumentation development. LGR is actively collaborating with several commercial partners to develop oxygen sensors for real-time control and optimization of electric arc furnaces. Additionally, LGR can readily extend the analyzer technology to address other trace gases for military applications. The proposed work is essential in making these instruments smaller, lighter, and more cost effective, thus enabling LGR to penetrate into these lucrative markets.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)
Protective Clothing/Space Suits/Breathing Apparatus

Form Generated on 09-03-10 15:17