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Fluidic Solutions for In Situ Sample Preparation in Microgravity

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC23PB458
Agency Tracking Number: 232265
Amount: $149,929.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S15
Solicitation Number: SBIR_23_P1
Solicitation Year: 2023
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-07-11
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-02-02
Small Business Information
27501 SW 95th Avenue Suite 930
Wilsonville, OR 97070-5705
United States
DUNS: 968887534
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Mark Weislogel
 (503) 200-4011
Business Contact
 Ryan Jenson
Phone: (503) 545-2501
Research Institution

Whether in industry, at home, or in the lab, most fluids handing operations and equipment would fail immediately when directly employed in the microgravity environments of orbiting or coast spacecraft. This is due to the innate assumption of gravity in nearly everything we do, make, and think. Thus, special engineering considerations must be made to account for the large length scale inertial-visco-capillary fluid phenomena that occurs when the role of gravity is greatly diminished.The fundamental and applied challenges governing such lsquo;capillary fluidicsrsquo; phenomena are significant and exposure to low-g environments is low. The technical fluid mechanics challenges are real, especially for multiphase microgravity flow of complex fluids in complex geometries with unknown initial conditions in an uncontrolled perturbation environment, with stringent requirements for spaceflight: compact, lightweight, low power, low crew activity, low resource utilization, minimal consumables, and program pressure for miniaturization and automation.In this proposal we first highlight a variety of capillary fluidics challenges faced by NASA relating to sample preparation that are likely to find solutions considering the new state-of-the-art. We then focus on solutions that are cross-cutting to in situ sample preparation and analysis for Biological and Physical Sciences research in microgravity environments. We pursue a survey of the broader aerospace community to find a measure of consensus regarding high-value miniaturizable automatable sample preparation unit operations. We will then design and demonstrate at least one broadly applicable prototype solution addressing the stakeholder requirements. Our Phase II effort aims to provide broad solutions to miniaturized, automated and other in situ sample preparation challengesmdash;for the NASA Biological and Physical Sciences as well as NASArsquo;s Life Support Communities for research, development, and exploration.

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

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