Fully Automated, High Performance SAW Microsensor Array for Mobile Air Sampling and Chemical Monitoring
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
The collection of sufficient quantities of truly representative ambient samples (e.g., air, water) for analysis is a serious problem with any mobile air sampling and monitoring system. There are several ways this problem can be addressed. The approach proposed in tihs SBIR is twofold. First, a chemical detector with very high sensitivity and selectivity will be designed to reduce the volume of sample required. Second, the size, volume, cost, and power consumption will be reduced to the point where it will be feasible to deploy an array of detectors throughouth an area to assure more representative sampling. The chemical detectors will be capable of coninous, automatic, remote operation and will interface with a control/data acquisition network via hardwire or RF communication links. The new, high performance chemical detector will be based on solid state surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices, which are very small, low cost, rugged, low power, and highly sensitive chamical detectors. The practical ilimitation of present SAW sensors is their limited chemical sslectivity. The technical approach of Phase I, therefore, will be make a major improvement in selectivity, specifically by placing a miniature GC column ahead of a muliple SAW sensor array. It is projected that the performance of such a SAW Array/GC unit will approach that of a mass spectrometer, but at a fraction of the size, cost, and complexity. The projected SAW/GC system will also be evaluated for minimum size, weight, cost, complexity, maintenance, and power consumption, as well as transportability. Anticipated Benefits: The new SAW Array/GC is designed specifically to meet US requirements for a small, high performance, highly portable, automatic chemical monitor that can be readily deployed anywhere in the world. However, because of it's unique performance capablities and many palnned user options it is also expected to meet many industrial and environmental chemical detection/monitoring requirements. The SAW Array/GC chemical monitor is thus expected to have a significant commercial market.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:N. Jarvis
Microsensor Systems, Inc.
62 Corporate Court Bowling Green, KY 42103
Number of Employees: