NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 H8.01-9415
SUBTOPIC TITLE: ISS Utilization and Microgravity Research
PROPOSAL TITLE: Portable spectroscopic scanning electron microscope on ISS: in situ nanostructural/chemical analysis for critical vehicle systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mochii, Inc., D/B/A Voxa
1001 26th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112 - 3645
(415) 858-0393

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Christopher Own
1001 26th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112 - 3645
(206) 288-3230

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Christopher S Own
1001 26th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112 - 3645
(206) 288-3230

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
ISS Utilization and Microgravity Research 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)
We will construct a novel field-portable miniature analytical electron microscope (EM+EDS) called Mochii "S" for in situ sensing in harsh/remote environments such as orbital and deep space flight. This lightweight, ISS-ready nano-analyzer will provide direct observation and chemical identification of the fine structure and correlated function of materials, contaminants, and biological agents down to the nanoscale. Nanostructural and spectrostropic analyses -- key ground capabilities -- can for the first time be launched with exploration vehicles and operated in-situ by virtue of unprecedented (10-100x) volume and weight reduction over traditional ground-based advanced analytical tools. Benefits include zero-latency nanoscale diagnosis and evolution tracking of previously invisible mission threats (i.e., presenting at the microstructural level and below) facilitating rapid mission team response and novel science.

Phase I will demonstrate a system capable of imaging structures well below the diffraction limit of visible light (below 350 nm) concurrent with chemical identification of species via X-ray spectroscopy, at orders of magnitude lower cost, size, and weight than any existing EM system. Native tablet-based wireless control enables remote and concurrent multi-node use, mirroring current orbital mission control systems. The system will achieve TRL 6 and be subsequently improved to be flight-ready (TRL 8+) in Phase II enabling in situ sensing and observation for life support systems, engineering systems, and new science on ISS and Orion spacecraft.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Mochii S will analyze small processes and structures on-orbit such as life support filtration system integrity and cleanliness, fracture and fatigue failure mechanisms, pitting from micrometeoroid impacts, in-vehicle biological contaminants, and chemical and physical phase changes in structural and propulsion systems, accelerating investigation and problem resolution in ISS and Orion in the future.

- In situ characterization of materials and biological agents on-orbit, at small length scales previously impossible to monitor.
- Versatile built-in sample preparation greatly expands possible in-situ analyses
- Early domestic and foreign object debris identification, reducing critical system downtime by accelerating investigations and reducing crew risk
- Reduces deep space exploration risks where sample return is not an option
- Versatile platform for novel on-orbit experimental science.
- Novel sensitivities: nanoscale structure, composition, surface sensitivity, high contrast, large relative depth of focus, magnetization
- Mission team collaboration: vastly reduced training and service requirements eliminate field specialization; native wireless datalink between remote and ground teams
- Ground crew use including earth-based field crews, analysis at NASA and launch sites
- Swarm sensor arrays: small volume envelope: 210mm x 210mm x 265mm, <12 kg, <85W
- Native distributed datalink and imaging facilitates public and educational outreach

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Forecasted applications of Mochii S relative to other government agencies
- DOE: energy development, nuclear materials, metallurgy, failure analysis
- DOD: battlefield metallurgy and materials including failure analysis, explosives/hazardous materials detection, ballistics
- EPA and NOAA: remote monitoring, contamination and pollution stream tracking
- FDA: Food inspection for mold and other pathogens, contamination tracking
- CDC: pathogen tracking, human tissue morphology and disease evolution

Forecasted applications of Mochii S relative to commercial markets.
- Metallurgy and failure analysis in manufacturing
- Mineral analysis in oil, gas, and natural resource exploration
- Nanotechnology/STEM education and outreach, citizen science - democratization of EM technology

Potential Non-NASA customers:
- Other Government agencies: DOE, DOD, EPA, NOAA, Homeland Security, FDA, Dept of Agriculture, CDC, NSF, NIH, local and federal and all others funding or conducting research or field work where high-resolution imaging can be of benefit
- Commercial markets: aeronautical and automotive manufacturers, semiconductor manufacturers, oil and gas and natural resource exploration, research groups sending samples to service facilities, research groups that send samples back (field analysis), smaller educational institutions currently unable to access EM technology

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)
Biological (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Biological Signature (i.e., Signs Of Life)
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Data Acquisition (see also Sensors)
Data Input/Output Devices (Displays, Storage)
Image Capture (Stills/Motion)
X-rays/Gamma Rays

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59