Isotope Hygrometer for in situ Subsurface Characterization

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-10ER85845
Agency Tracking Number: 95272
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: 33 a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000161
Small Business Information
67 Condesa Road, Santa Fe, NM, 87508
DUNS: 134161533
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joerg Kutzner
 Dr.
 (505) 466-3830
 jkutzner@vistaphotonics.com
Business Contact
 Jeffrey Pilgrim
Title: Dr.
Phone: (505) 466-3830
Email: jpilgrim@vistaphotonics.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Isotope hydrology is a powerful method to trace transport and dispersion of contaminants in the subsurface. Although widely applied, the method depends on sample analysis in specialized laboratories equipped with expensive and complex analysis tools. Small, rugged analyzers suitable for on-site monitoring will significantly boost applications of this unique analysis technique. A cost effective, optical isotope hygrometer for measuring d18O, d17O and dD in water samples is proposed. Targeted measurement precision is below 1 per mil. The sensor will operate in real time and will need no sample preparation. Emerging infrared laser diodes will be combined with wavelength modulation spectroscopy to measure the isotope sample composition. A shoebox sized device is targeted that will allow rugged fieldable instrumentation at targeted retail pricing of $15K. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Isotope hygrometers are increasingly applied to contaminant hydrogeology. They are valuable tools in understanding surface water movement and interaction with groundwater. They are utilized for mapping aquifers and conserving water supplies. Water is of enormous environmental importance and the proposed compact sensor technology can find application in food product authenticity, paleoclimatology, atmospheric chemistry, and biomedicine

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

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