Advanced Fire Detector for Space Applications

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10RA08C
Agency Tracking Number: 074742
Amount: $600,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: X3.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Vista Photonics, Inc.
67 Condesa Road, Santa Fe, NM, 87508-8136
DUNS: 134161533
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joerg Kutzner
 Principal Investigator
 (505) 466-3830
 jkutzner@vistaphotonics.com
Business Contact
 Jeffrey Pilgrim
Title: Business Official
Phone: (505) 466-3953
Email: jpilgrim@vistaphotonics.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
New sensor technology is required to face the challenging tasks associated with future space exploration involving missions to the Moon and Mars. The safety and well-being of the crew critically depends on early detection of threats as well as maintaining stable and acceptable conditions in the crew habitat. Prototype sensor technology being developed on this project addresses both aspects. Carbon monoxide formation is a reliable indicator of evolving fire threats and this gaseous combustion product allows rapid early detection. A highly sensitive carbon monoxide sensor is proposed for early, fast and unfailing fire detection. Current fire detectors are prone to fatigue and have insufficient sensitivity, selectivity and time-response. Smoke detectors cannot detect early stages of combustion and become unreliable if exposed to dust particulates. A second project part addresses habitat air composition monitoring. A multi-species device will be developed to simultaneously monitor oxygen, carbon dioxide and moisture. The optical sensors developed on this project have unique features like fast response, high precision and strong species selectivity. Design criteria such as small footprint, low weight, low power consumption as well as internal calibration and continuous sensor health monitoring will be implemented to provide spaceflight optimized sensors. An absorption approach using modulation techniques implemented on size optimized platforms will be applied.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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