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A Rugged LED-based Sensor for Fire Detection

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco Street Suite E-11 Santa Fe, NM 87505-3993
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: A Rugged LED-based Sensor for Fire Detection
Agency: NASA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $600,000.00


In March 1988, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a rule change requiring commercial aircraft to install smoke detection systems in cargo compartments to control the risk of on board fires, which have caused more than 30 accidents and 250 deaths in the United States in the last 14 years. Conventional smoke and gas detectors have a tendency for high false alarm rates, and worse, some gas detectors have a tendency not to alarm at dangerously high gas concentrations. Thus, Southwest Sciences proposes a novel, low-weight, and low-cost fire detection technology based on optical spectroscopy using Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). Rapid, quantitative detection of part per million concentrations of multiple gases including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, and acetylene, and others are possible. In the proposed device, gas concentrations are measured separately, which greatly reduces the chances of a false alarm. The proposed instrument is self-calibrating and self-checking to reduce long term maintenance costs. The technology uses miniature LEDs and detectors that are rugged, low-weight, low-cost, and require little power. The Phase I effort will validate the proposed technology with measurements of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

Principal Investigator:

Jeffrey S. Goldmeer
Senior Research Scientist

Business Contact:

Alan Stanton
Small Business Information at Submission:

Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco Street Suite E-11 Santa Fe, NM 87505

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