NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 10.03-0003

PROJECT TITLE: Point Sensor Network for Hydrazine Monitoring (7168-540)

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

A low-maintenance broad-area monitoring system is required for detection of toxic hydrazine leaks during fueling operations on the Mobile Launch Platform. The system must accurately detect 1 to 100 ppm vapor leaks in < 15 seconds and be capable of maintenance-free operation for 3 to 6 months. Broad-area coverage coupled with rapid detection will ensure worker safety and reduce the current high operational costs associated with evacuating personnel as well as locating and remediating the leak source. Currently available sensor technologies are either too expensive or do not provide the required performance over the 1 to 100 ppm range. The ideal system would be a distributed network of small inexpensive reversible sensors, each in communication with a central base station, which provides a visual display of concentration in the vicinity of each sensor. Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to develop such a low-maintenance system for rapid determination of the concentration and spatial location of leaks under field conditions which will meet or exceed the desired specifications. A prototype individual sensor device incorporating novel low-cost disposable sensor elements will be demonstrated in Phase I. A sufficient quantity of disposables will be delivered to NASA for evaluation.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The low-maintenance monitoring system will have many performance/cost advantages over competing devices. The underlying technology is broadly applicable to several important sensing applications, including personal dosimetry, regulatory compliance, compositional analysis, and quality control. Detectable species include toxic gases, environmental pollutants, biomolecules, and odorants. Target markets include the aerospace, chemical, agricultural, pharmaceutical, food, and fragrance industries, as well as the Federal Government.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Mitchell R. Zakin
Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover , MA 01810-1077

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover , MA 01810-1077