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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: 80NSSC19C0188
Agency Tracking Number: 181227
Amount: $748,693.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S4
Solicitation Number: SBIR_18_P2
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-14
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-08-13
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 couple 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.

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

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