NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 S1.07-9285
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Airborne Measurement Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Instrument for Airborne Measurement of Carbonyl Sulfide

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11
Santa Fe, NM 87505 - 3993
(505) 984-1322

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Alan C. Stanton
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11
Santa Fe, NM 87505 - 3993
(505) 984-1322

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Alan C. Stanton
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11
Santa Fe, NM 87505 - 3993
(505) 984-1322

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Airborne Measurement Systems 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)
Southwest Sciences proposes to develop small, low power instrumentation for the real-time direct measurement of carbonyl sulfide (OCS) in the atmosphere, especially targeting airborne measurements. The instrument will be based on a recently introduced room temperature interband cascade laser (ICL) operating in the 4830 nm region. This laser has a substantially reduced (by a factor of approximately 12) power requirement than quantum cascade lasers operating in the same region and should be better-suited for use in atmospheric field instruments. The Phase I effort will concentrate on characterizing the sensitivity and precision that can be achieved for OCS measurement, using this laser in a laboratory prototype. The Phase I work will also include direct measurement of ambient carbonyl sulfide in the local outside air. The follow-on Phase II project will emphasize development of an airborne-worthy prototype instrument that can be field tested.

Carbonyl sulfide is the most abundant naturally occurring sulfur species in the atmosphere, with previous measurements of its concentration yielding results in the range of 500 parts-per-trillion (ppt). The lifetime of OCS in the troposphere is believed to be several years, allowing its transport into the lower stratosphere where it is photochemically oxidized to sulfate particles. Improved understanding of the tropospheric – stratospheric exchange of this important species is needed to gain a better understanding of the role of OCS in sulfate particle production. In turn, the sulfate aerosol layer may significantly influence the earth's energy budget through increased solar scattering.

Existing instrumentation for measurement of OCS is bulky and expensive and is complicated by several indirect steps. In contrast, this R&D effort will result in an instrument that measures OCS directly, in real time, with 1-second time response or better.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Phase I and Phase II will result in an instrument for measurement of carbonyl sulfide that could be used by NASA to measure this important sulfur species from airborne platforms or in ground-based studies. The instrument platform could be adapted for measurement of other atmospheric species (including carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon gases, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other sulfur species).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This type of instrumentation is of interest to other government agencies involved in atmospheric research, including NOAA, the Department of Energy, and NSF-supported institutions such as NCAR. The instrumentation, if adapted for measurement of pollutant gases, could be of interest to EPA and industrial customers concerned with pollutant monitoring and control. Southwest Sciences intends to manufacture and sell instrumentation based on the project technology to NASA, other government agencies, and the general atmospheric research and evironmental monitoring communities.

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)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37