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In-Situ Electrospray Capture of Organic Bearing Particulates from Alien Water Fountains

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC18P2095
Agency Tracking Number: 181227
Amount: $124,562.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S4
Solicitation Number: SBIR_18_P1
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-07-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-02-15
Small Business Information
696 Amity Road
Bethany, CT 06524-3006
United States
DUNS: 783630189
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Joseph Bango
 (203) 393-9666
Business Contact
 Joseph Bango
Phone: (203) 393-9666
Research Institution

NASA has need for technologies that can enable sampling from water jets, such as those observed emanating from the moon Enceladus and from the moon Europa. We propose to leverage past observations of the ability of electrospray ionization to capture and concentrate polar or polarizable trace species without damage, and combine that knowledge with recent discoveries in developing a hypervelocity ice-gun for NASA studies aimed at ice grain capture simulations. The phase I effort will focus on using the ice gun we created under prior NASA support, and add a cold plasma curtain to pre-charge an incident ice grain, and then add a novel electrospray element that we believe will enable in-situ organic analysis capability previously unattainable on board a spacecraft using existing NASA mass spectrometer hardware. Incident ice grain impacts into aerogel create a rearward plume of water vapor that may contain a high percentage of trace organic species. Using a cross-current electrospray source, these species may be charged to form multiply charged ions capable of being interrogated in-situ using a mass analyzer, while preserving aerogel impact samples for a return mission. This proposal endeavors to address one of the major concerns in any particulate impact-capture mission, is the potential loss of valuable samples entrained in aerogel. In addition, the long flight time back to Earth results in significant potential discovery delays. With the proposed technology, NASA can now perform in-situ organic analysis of incident ice grains in near real-time, and have impact samples retained for a return mission for additional study on Earth.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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