Miniature, Low Power Gas Chromatograph with Sample Pre-Processing Capability and Enhanced G-Force Survivability for Planetary Missions

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10CE05P
Agency Tracking Number: 094631
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: S1.09
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Thorleaf Research, Inc.
5552 Cathedral Oaks Road, Santa Barbara, CA, 93111-1406
DUNS: 012175837
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Holland
 Principal Investigator
 (805) 692-4978
 pholland@thorleaf.com
Business Contact
 Paul Holland
Title: Business Official
Phone: (805) 692-4978
Email: pholland@thorleaf.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Thorleaf Research, Inc. proposes to develop a miniaturized, low power gas chromatograph (GC) with sample pre-processing capability and enhanced capability for handling high inertial loads in a modular design optimized for integration into flight instrumentation. Our innovative approach employs a miniature sampling valve and loop to provide selective pre-concentration of trace level compounds from the sample stream using adsorbents and/or cryogenic focusing. This leak-tight design minimizes the number of components and tubing connections, thereby reducing instrument volume and mass while enhancing system robustness and improving inertness. We believe it will be possible to develop the miniaturized GC system at a mass of about 1 kg, average power consumption of less than 0.5 watts for isothermal operation, and sample pre-concentration factors of up to 1000x, with capability to withstand a kilo-g. This modular design can be interfaced to miniature mass spectrometers (MS), ion mobility spectrometers (IMS), and other detectors of interest to NASA. The goal of our proposed SBIR Phase 1 effort is to demonstrate feasibility for a miniaturized, low power GC with sample pre-processing capability and enhanced g-force survivability for planetary missions, and to develop a detailed design for fabricating and demonstrating prototype instrumentation in Phase 2.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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