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A Novel Device and Methodology for Detection and Quantitative Measurement of Fugitive Methane Releases

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2023-00795
Agency Tracking Number: 2023-00795
Amount: $181,254.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.4
Solicitation Number: USDA-NIFA-SBIR-009301
Solicitation Year: 2023
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-05-30
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-06-30
Small Business Information
6005 Blank Rd.
Sebastopol, CA 95472-6143
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Kenneth Ewing
 (202) 674-9964
Business Contact
 Donald Stasiowski
Phone: (707) 695-2195
Research Institution
 U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
4555 Overlook Ave SW
Washington, DC 20375-0001
United States

 Federally Funded R&D Center (FFRDC)

Aether seeks to commercialize a unique biomimetic chemical sensor capable of discriminating
between various gases in the atmosphere and specifically capable of discriminating greenhouse gases
from ordinary atmospheric pollutants. The proposed detection approach is based on a methodology
developed at the Naval Research Laboratory and licensed to Aether.
Our infrared-based sensor achieves high selectivity by mimicking how the human eye distinguishes
different visible colors. The eye uses the interaction between broadband visible optical filters which
enable the brain to distinguish between different colors based on the relative strength of power
coming from the three different optical filters. Our sensor employs three solid state infrared detector
chips each covered with unique infrared optical filters. The output from the three infrared/optical filter
pairs is used to identify a chemical gas based on the unique response of the three IR filter/IR detector
pairs. This methodology has been successfully demonstrated to discriminate between various
chemical warfare agent simulants and known battlefield interferents like ozone and other organic
chemical vapors.
This project will determine if this sensor and classification methodology is capable of detecting and
quantifying methane gas in the atmosphere at a standoff distance (the sensor is not required to be in
physical contact with the methane plume). Our research will determine the optimal filter selection
required for methane detection testing and validating in a laboratory setting demonstrating
specificity linearity accuracy precision range quantitation limit and elucidated detection limit.

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

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