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SBIR Phase I: A Novel Bulk Acoustic Wave Oil Quality Sensor

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2004 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Mainely Sensors, LLC
20 GODFREY DR ORONO, ME 04473 3610
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: SBIR Phase I: A Novel Bulk Acoustic Wave Oil Quality Sensor
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0339604
Award Amount: $99,998.00


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will demonstrate the feasibility of developing a novel acoustic wave sensor for use as an oil quality monitor for motor vehicles and industrial machinery. Normally oil quality is not monitored in situ. The most common method of ensuring oil quality is to change the oil after a specified amount of time or miles. The research objectives will be to determine the ideal excitation geometry for the sensor, fully characterize the sensor to mechanical and electrical perturbations of the contacting liquid, and demonstrate that the sensor can reliably monitor engine oil quality. Phase I work will demonstrate that the sensor is a vast improvement over both standard quartz crystal microbalances (QCMs) and QCMs with modified electrode geometries. The result will be acoustic wave sensors that are highly stable and optimized for oil quality monitoring. The development of an oil quality sensor will demonstrate that cutting edge sensor research can be brought to commercialization and at the same time promote teaching, training and learning for high school (HS), undergraduate (UG), and graduate (G) students. This project, in concert with an existing NSF Grades Kindergarten-12 (GK-12) program and a previously funded NSF science education grant integrating sensors into the UG and G engineering programs, will offer research, educational and job opportunities for HS, UG and G students to participate in the proposed project. The successful demonstration of an oil quality sensor will motivate the development of similar sensors for applications in health, agricultural, automotive, environmental and military areas.

Principal Investigator:

Lester French

Business Contact:

John Vetelino
Small Business Information at Submission:

Mainely Sensors, LLC
Target Technology Center Orono, ME 04473

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No