Advanced Development for Defense Science and Technology
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
Southwest Sciences proposes the development of an ultra-sensitive optical spectroscopy technique having applications in explosives and chemical agent detection, and rapid health screening/monitoring for warfighter field diagnostics and health care. The technique, called noise-immune, cavity-enhanced optical heterodyne spectroscopy (NICE-OHMS), was invented about 10 years ago, but has remained a research laboratory technique. It was considered too complex for commercial development. We plan to take advantage of recent improvements in enabling technologies to make NICE-OHMS a reliable, field-rugged, and portable method. If successful, we anticipate two- to four-orders of magnitude sensitivity improvement over competing spectroscopic methods at only modestly higher expense. The proposed technology has numerous military and commercial applications. Our approach starts with the detection of ultra-trace (part per billion, or lower concentrations) gases in exhaled breath that are markers for disease and injury. This application has both military and civilian uses. Obvious target compounds include nitric oxide, acetone which is a marker for diabetes and ketosis, ethylene as an indicator for radiation exposure, ethane and higher alkanes as markers for lipid damage, and dimethyl sulfide for kidney function. In addition, numerous metabolic tests involve ingestion of 13C-labeled compounds followed by time-resolved, high precision measurements of 13CO2/12CO2 changes.
Small Business Information at Submission:
SOUTHWEST SCIENCES, INC.
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11 Santa Fe, NM 87505
Number of Employees: