Data Link System for In-Situ Ocean Observing Platforms
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
Thorleaf Research proposes to develop and and test a rugged underwater samplinginlet/preconcentrator (SIP) system for in situ chemical analysis of seawater samplesfrom a small autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). This addresses a keytechnology gap for in situ underwater sampling and preconcentration of suchanalytes, mainly how to acquire and pre-process trace level analytes from seawaterwhile remaining within challenging mass, volume and power constraints. Althoughvarious miniature chemical detectors are under development for explosives, theirpotential for the identification of UXO in marine environments will not be realizedwithout complementary developments in technology for underwater collection andpre-processing of samples. The proposed SIP system will be suitable for couplingto such detectors, isolating them from the pressure of seawater at the selectedsampling depth, and providing for automated 100-1000x preconcentration of TNTand other UXO analytes. The goal of our proposed SBIR Phase I effort is todemonstrate feasibility for a miniaturized, low power sampling inlet/preconcentratorsystem for in situ chemical measurements of UXO contaminants in seawater fromAUVs, to develop detailed designs for fabricating prototype instrumentation inPhase II, and to fabricate and test a SIP system breadboard in a Phase I Option.By following an inherently modular design approach in developing this samplingtechnology, it is anticipated that modifications will allow it to be adapted to meetneeds for a variety of underwater chemical measurements. This is likely to includeterrestrial uses, such as environmental monitoring of water quality and monitoringfor hazardous materials. Our proposed SBIR effort to develop a miniaturized, lowpower, underwater sampling inlet/preconcentrator (SIP) system for in situ chemicalanalysis addresses these needs in an innovative way, and thus technicaldevelopments in the proposed program could have a significant commercial market impact.
Small Business Information at Submission:
THORLEAF RESEARCH, INC.
5552 Cathedral Oaks Road Santa Barbara, CA 93111
Number of Employees: