Real-Time Optical Sensors for Maintaining Microbial Quality
The proposed innovation is to apply unique optical fiber sensing elements and optical transduction principles to the early detection of microbial fouling. Critical to monitoring and maintaining the quality of recycled waters and assessing the effectiveness of new methods is the development of sensor instrumentation suitable for in situ detection of microbial species. Such sensors, integrated with a control and feedback loop, will allow appropriate action to be taken before crew health, plant, or food quality can be compromised. Polestar Technologies, and its subcontractor GEO- CENTERS, INC., proposes a Phase I program to demonstrate the feasibility of using proprietary sensing material, and fiber optic sensor technology, for the early detection of biofilm formation. This approach should provide not only the great sensitivity associated with optical transduction, but also the capability to monitor in situ, and in real time. This innovation, once developed, should also be readily extended to identification of specific microbial populations, biocompatibility studies of new materials, and monitoring of air filtration systems as may be required throughout NASA. In a subsequent Phase II program a prototype Fiber Optic Biofilm Monitor will be fabricated, tested, and delivered to Johnson Space Center for evaluation in a water reclamation test bed.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Jiangnan Liu
Polestar Technologies, Inc.
79 Maynard Road Sudbury, MA 01776
Number of Employees: