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High Precision CO2 Field Sensor

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2008 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco St. Suite E-11 Santa Fe, NM 87505-3993
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2008
Title: High Precision CO2 Field Sensor
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-07ER84906
Award Amount: $750,000.00


The U.S. Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI) has the goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the next 10 years. However, the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are not well understood. High precision instruments to quantify the concentrations and fluctuations of carbon dioxide are essential to improve this understanding, yet existing instruments can not meet the combined specifications for precision, long-term unattended field operation, and cost. This project will develop a new type of high precision optical sensor combining traditional optical spectroscopy with a new self-calibrating method that will improve detection sensitivity and precision. The Phase I research successfully demonstrated the proposed approach for high precision measurements, without the need for external calibration gases or dependence on ambient conditions. The Phase II project will result in a prototype sensor capable of high precision field measurements. It will be compact, run unattended with low power, and use no consumables. Its performance will be validated by field measurement comparisons with the best currently available instruments. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: Federal benefits include low-cost, field-deployable, instruments for the rapid and precise measurements of important gases that will improve modeling of atmospheric dynamics and climate change. This methodology is also applicable to Homeland Security identification of chemical agents. Direct commercial applications include environmental sensing and regulatory compliance, atmospheric research and optical sensing, as well as gas leak sensing for pipelines, fire detectors for commercial and private aircraft, combustor feedback control sensors, and process control sensors for energy and chemical production industries.

Principal Investigator:

Joel A. Silver

Business Contact:

Alan C. Stanton
Small Business Information at Submission:

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

EIN/Tax ID: 850340320
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No