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Robotic Optical Monitor for High Throughput Crystal Growth Experiments

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2002 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
7200 Highway 150 GREENVILLE, IN 47124-9515
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2002
Title: Robotic Optical Monitor for High Throughput Crystal Growth Experiments
Agency: NASA
Contract: NAS8-01158
Award Amount: $69,822.00


Macromolecules are crystallized for crystallography in ?screens? consisting of numerous (30-200) small volumes (2 ? 50 muL) of combinations with several (2-10) other solutes. Each combination is frequently over days or weeks to evaluate growth, if any, of crystals, thereby creating of repetitious, labor-intensive tasks. This task could be assigned to an automated roving video microscope using a similar magnification to that used in crystallography (4X ? 70X). However, a roving videomicroscope, requires considerable volume, power, mass, autofocusing and moving mechanical parts. It can have a significant failure rate. These constitute undesirable features for spaceflight and inconvenience in the laboratory. A no-moving-parts Robotic Optical Monitor is proposed. Phase I research will consist of a trade study of the following embedded optoelectronic devices to be tested using a standardized crystal-growth chamber: a 1-dimensional lensless microscope, an area array lensless microscope, a square sensor array with lenslets, a multiangle light scatter sensor, and a two-angle light scatter sensor. The results comparing these methods' ability to provide digitized image or scattering data will be used to select the system(s) with the optimum combination of resolution/information content, power requirement, cost, accuracy and convenience. The selected system(s) will be the focus of Phase II research and market development.

Principal Investigator:

Paul Todd
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Mark S. Deuser
President & CEO
Small Business Information at Submission:

Space Hardware Optimization Technology,
7200 Highway 150 Greenville, IN 47124

EIN/Tax ID: 351784668
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No