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Compact Ethylene Monitor for NASA Space Missions

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0323
Agency Tracking Number: 205715
Amount: $122,786.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T6
Solicitation Number: STTR_20_P1
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-08-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-09-30
Small Business Information
2413 Nashville Rd, Suite B8
Bowling Green, KY 42101-4101
United States
DUNS: 044308921
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Elena Viugina
 (270) 792-2215
Business Contact
 Charles Gary
Title: AdelphiLLC
Phone: (650) 575-4555
Research Institution
 Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 00000-0000
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Human missions to the Moon and Marsnbsp;will require advanced systems to maintain an environment supporting human life. Smart greenhouses are necessary for fresh food supply in long term space missions. Through natural metabolic processes, plants can produce ethylene, which can accumulate in closed environments and have undesirable effects on the plants. These effects can include reduced growth, impaired pollen development and/or fertilization, leaf epinasty, flower abortion, accelerated fruit ripening, and more. Traditional analytical methods used to identify and determine levels of ethylene are time-consuming, technically demanding, and often expensive.In our NASA STTR Phase 1, we propose to develop a compact, portable and robust battery-powered analytical instrument for monitoring of ultra-low concentrations of ethylene in complex backgrounds. The device is based on principles of analytical gas chromatography (GC) and utilizes a novel highly integrated multisensory detector. Due to implementation of a multisensory detector, the device collects multiple chromatograms in a single run. The sensors in the integrated MEMS platform are near-orthogonal and possess very distinct catalytic properties. Hence, the time separation by chromatographic column is complemented by catalytic separation by a multisensory detector.The outcome of this GC/MEMS hybrid technology, is the ability to monitor a very broad range of analytes from light to heavy on a relatively short and compact GC column in a short period of time of 12.5 min. Also, the device can perform the analysis in a broad range of concentrations from sub-ppb to hundreds of ppm. Our modular design allows quick interchange columns and detectors to achieve optimum instrument performance. Preliminary testing shows a great promise in utilization of Porapak P column as packing material for chromatography column and a novel multisensory detector for extraction and quantification of ethylene down to 25 ppb.nbsp;

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

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