NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 S1.04-9654
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Detector Technologies for UV, X-Ray, Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Instruments
PROPOSAL TITLE: Measuring Low Fluxes of Photons, Neutral Molecules and Ions with a New Generation of Detectors

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Space Systems Research Corporation
1940 Duke Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314 - 3452
(703) 684-3132

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Federico Herrero
1940 Duke Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314 - 3452
(301) 385-2188

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Rebecca Baugh
1940 Duke Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314 - 3452
(571) 331-1960

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Detector Technologies for UV, X-Ray, Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Instruments is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A new detector evaluation method (DEM) is proposed to determine the response of graphene detectors to low fluxes of photons, neutral atoms/molecules, and ions in the space environment of high to ultra-high vacuum. The method, aimed mainly at evaluation for space applications of new graphene detectors, is also applicable to other detectors operating in non-space environments. DEM will test graphene response to very low fluxes of atoms and molecules, ions, and photons; if sensitive to extremely low fluxes of a few 100/s, the timing of pulses produced by bunched events may open up an entirely new avenue to time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Closely coordinating with the NASA GSFC Detector Systems Branch, DEM will characterize the detector response to enable low-cost demonstrations of ionosphere-thermosphere investigations in low-Earth-orbit in CubeSats and sounding rockets. Space-borne measurements require knowledge of the response to the three kinds of particles: photons, ions, and neutrals, to properly design experiments. DEM controls vacuum pressure at the detector and can validate the application of these new detectors to a new series of mass spectrometers that can operate over a broad range of vacuum pressures (0.1 milliTorr and lower) because of their small size – DEM will add value to cost effective NASA balloon, sounding rocket, and satellite investigations.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA's interest in CubeSat missions is driven by the need to do high-quality science with a limited budget. NASA is at the threshold of producing fully instrumented CubeSats for less than $0.8M each. To be effective, these must use technologies that are small, consume little power, and avoid risks associated with high voltages and electronic complexity. Therefore, the impact of the detectors that are enabled by our DEM is likely to be very significant for NASA. The new detectors enable low-cost implementations of new ideas that revolutionize Space Applications, like the new WINCS suite for ionosphere-thermosphere missions that provides the function of 4 spectrometers with performance levels exceeding previous instruments, all in a package less than 3x3x3 inches cubed with total power less than 1.6 Watts. Similarly, renewed interest in planetary and inter-stellar science requires measurements of neutral atoms in Space (e.g., LENA in the IMAGE spacecraft) that will require DEM to take advantage of new detectors. Such applications will require careful characterization of this new generation of detectors using the experimental method implemented in DEM - to ensure proper experimental design in such missions, discriminating photons from neutrals and ions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
As with the potential for NASA applications, the intrinsic value of our Detector Evaluation Module is extended by its broad vacuum pressure range to entirely new spectrometers, including mass spectrometers, that are just beginning to offer solutions in many commercial areas: medical diagnosis, industrial process monitoring, volcanology, environmental monitoring of pollutants in air and water, and military value for detection of chemical, biological agents and explosives. DEM will provide the detector data required for such new applications of the Graphene and other chemical sensors in a new generation of mass spectrometers that do not require high vacuum as traditional mass spectrometers do.

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.)
Air Transportation & Safety
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Analytical Methods
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Biological (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Biomass Growth
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Coatings/Surface Treatments
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Astronautics)
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Propulsion
Fire Protection
Health Monitoring & Sensing (see also Sensors)
In Situ Manufacturing
Ionizing Radiation
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE; NDT)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Physiological/Psychological Countermeasures
Protective Clothing/Space Suits/Breathing Apparatus
Relative Navigation (Interception, Docking, Formation Flying; see also Control & Monitoring; Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Space Transportation & Safety
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Waste Storage/Treatment

Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21