NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 S1.08-8138
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In Situ Airborne, Surface, and Submersible Instruments for Earth Science
PROPOSAL TITLE: Ultrasensitive Analyzer for Realtime, In-Situ Airborne and Terrestrial Measurements of OCS, CO2, and CO

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Los Gatos Research
67 East Evelyn Avenue, Suite 3
Mountain View, CA 94041 - 1518
(650) 965-7772

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: 4
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In this SBIR effort, Los Gatos Research (LGR) will employ its patented mid-infrared Off-Axis ICOS technique to develop a compact carbonyl sulfide (OCS), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and water vapor (H2O) analyzer. This sensor will provide rapid (10 Hz), real-time, accurate measurements of these important trace gases with minimal calibration. The SBIR instrument will be capable of both terrestrial and airborne deployment to provide data in the troposphere, tropopause, and stratosphere. The resulting system will allow NASA researchers to acquire data that complements satellite observations made from missions in the Earth Observing System. The data will help elucidate stratospheric aerosol loading and terrestrial CO2 fluxes to improve climate models.

In Phase I, LGR demonstrated technical feasibility by fabricating an Off-Axis ICOS system for OCS, CO2, CO, and H2O quantification in ambient air. The prototype was highly precise (OCS, CO2, CO, and H2O to better than �4 ppt, �0.2 ppm, �0.31 ppb, and �3.7 ppm respectively), linear (R2 > 0.9997) over a wide dynamic range, and fast (2-Hz response), with no appreciable cross-interference between the measured species. Subsequently, LGR deployed the Phase I prototype locally and at a DOE Ameriflux site (Sherman Island, California).

In Phase II, LGR will develop and deliver two autonomous OCS, CO2, CO, and H2O analyzers for terrestrial flux and airborne monitoring respectively. The first analyzer, which will measure these gases at up to 10 Hz in a variety of terrestrial ecosystems, will be tested with Professor Chris Still for long-term monitoring and Professor Dennis Baldocci for eddy-flux measurements. The second instrument will be packaged for deployment aboard a select NASA aircraft, and include provisions for ambient temperature, humidity, and pressure fluctuatons. The flight sensor will be tested using a modified Mooney TLS with Dr. Stephen Conley and then deployed aboard a NASA aircraft.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary objective of the NASA Earth Science Division is to determine how the global environment is changing, what drives these changes, and the potential consequences for human civilization. In order to better research atmospheric properties, NASA requires instrumentation that is capable of measuring several key gaseous species, including OCS, CO2, CO, and H2O. OCS plays a critical role stratospheric aerosol formation and may serve a carbon cycle tracer for photosynthesis. Thus, NASA requires new technologies that make stand-alone, in-situ measurements of OCS with faster time response (e.g. 1 Hz) and comparable accuracy aboard both airborne and terrestrial platforms with no sample preparation or transport. Additional measurements of CO2, CO, and H2O are also necessary to provide information on carbon dioxide respiration, combustion emissions, and dry-mole fractions. In addition to NASA's environmental science needs, several other NASA programs can benefit from the technologies developed during this SBIR, including the NASA Astronaut Health Monitoring Program. The difficulties associated with manned space travel necessitate the development of point-of-care medical instrumentation that can gauge astronaut health. LGR's proposed mid-infrared Off-Axis ICOS analyzer enables the implementation of carbonyl sulfide (OCS) medical breath diagnostic tests aboard space vehicles. Such tests provide initial indicators of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Besides its importance to NASA, the development of a highly sensitive, mid-infrared trace gas analyzer has several commercial applications. In Phase III, LGR will target two potential markets for products resulting from the SBIR analyzer: environmental research laboratories and isotope measurement laboratories. A preliminary market analysis suggests 5-year revenue of exceeding $40M for these two market segments alone.

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)

Form Generated on 11-06-12 18:12