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A small, Low Power, Bore Gas Composition Sensor for Determining Aging Changes…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Sporian Microsystems, Inc.
515 Courtney Way Suite B Lafayette, CO 80026-8821
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: A small, Low Power, Bore Gas Composition Sensor for Determining Aging Changes in Composite Propellants and Service Life Assessment.
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8650-09-M-2029
Award Amount: $99,994.00


Determining the health of solid rocket motors (SRMs) is of critical importance in monitoring the reliability and projected life of the motor. Significant improvements in health monitoring prognostic capability and cost would benefit both ballistic missile and commercial space launch systems. A particular area of interest is development of bore gas composition sensors to determine aging changes in composite propellants. In particular, systems which can: fit into or around the motor, remain with the asset over its life, and non-destructively acquire high fidelity data would be highly advantageous. Such hardware should be lightweight, small, sensitive, and highly specific for multiple gasses, self powered for 5-10 years, facilitate easy data output, and should support the use of physics-based models to determine aging changes and service life assessment. The objective of the proposed work is to develop such a sensing module, based on the combination of a miniaturized surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy concept, and existing low-power wireless sensor network hardware. This Phase I effort will include: the definition of key system requirements, the evaluation of SERS substrate preparation processes, the evaluation of the sensing module hardware/packaging design concepts, and the construction and proof of principle demonstration of first generation hardware. BENEFITS: Sporian anticipates development of a low power, portable system designed to detect bore gases. In addition to the proposed military applications, this sensor will also be attractive for applications in occupational health and safety monitoring and industrial monitoring. The monitor could positively impact over $25 billion in annual productivity loss attributable to occupational disease and chemical exposures.

Principal Investigator:

Jaquitta Daniels
Analytical Chemist

Business Contact:

Michael Usrey
VP of Business Developmen
Small Business Information at Submission:

515 Courtney Way Suite B Lafayette, CO 80026

EIN/Tax ID: 841531263
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No