NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 15.02-1925

PROJECT TITLE: Paraffin Actuated Wet Chemistry Reagent Tablet Dispenser

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Technical Abstract: This project will develop a sealed reagent tablet dispenser and stirring mechanism for in-situ wet chemistry experimentation on Mars, Europa, the Moon and other celestial bodies. The dispenser will be designed for integration with a complete in-situ wet chemistry experiment such as the Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA). No previous experiments to date including MECA have the capability to add chemical reagents to the experiment cell or stir the slurry. This innovative system will utilize a single paraffin actuator to deliver the reagent tablets, puncture the water delivery seal and stir the chemistry experiment. The technology will enable further development of several high profile NASA scientific experiments. The mechanism will have the following features: sealed dispenser cartridge integrated stirring mechanism mass: < 50 grams overall length including actuator: < 9 cm (3.5 inches) ability to withstand launch, cruise and destination environments A proof of concept prototype will be designed, manufactured and functionally tested in Phase I. In Phase II the concept will be refined, integrated with the wet chemistry sensor instrument beaker and the sample delivery system, and flight qualified for a specific NASA mission such as the Mars 03 Lander.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

Commercial applications include automatic prescription drug dispensing systems for use in outpatient facilities, managed care organizations, assisted living centers and nursing homes.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Kurt Lankford
Starsys Research Corporation
4909 Nautilus Court North
Boulder , CO 80301

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Starsys Research Inc.
4909 Nautilus Court North
Boulder , CO 80301