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The Photo-Pneumatic CO2 Analyzer

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Atmospheric Observing Systems, Inc.
1930 Central Avenue Suite A Boulder, CO 80301-2895
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: The Photo-Pneumatic CO2 Analyzer
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX09CF35P
Award Amount: $100,000.00


We are proposing to build a new technology, the photo-pneumatic analyzer. It is small, solid-state, inexpensive, and appropriate for observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) from six of the seven robotic platforms being targeted by NASA in its solicitation. An inexpensive MEMS transducer is integrated into a miniature pair of gas cells to serve as the radiation sensitive element of the analyzer. Absorption by individual vibration-rotation transitions serves as the measure of CO2 Dry Mole Fraction of the sample. The analyzer has significant sensitivity, bandwidth and specificity to 12CO2 or 13CO2. Target sensitivity is 0.1 ppmv at 1 Hz for both isotopes. The analyzer may be modified to detect additional molecular species. The immediate objective is to develop an expendable CO2 analyzer that can be manufactured by machine and can be used to validate observations of CO2 column from spacecraft and can further serve as the basis of a new global monitoring network of climate change. The products targeted for Phase II are: (i) a substantial series of vertical profiles of CO2 that serve to prove the utility of the new technology as payload of the expendable balloon platform and (ii) the manufacturing plan for a commercially viable photo-pneumatic analyzer.

Principal Investigator:

James Smith
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

James R. Smith
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Atmospheric Observing Systems, Inc.
1930 Central Avenue, Suite A Boulder, CO 80301

EIN/Tax ID: 753074413
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No