In-Situ Hydrothermal Vent Isotope Ratiometer

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$69,999.00
Award Year:
2003
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NAS2-03138
Award Id:
66946
Agency Tracking Number:
022541
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
67 East Evelyn Avenue, Suite 3, Mountain View, CA, 94041
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Manish Gupta
Principal Investigator
(650) 965-7874
mglgr@mindspring.com
Business Contact:
Anthony O'Keefe
President
(650) 965-7772
aoklgr@ix.netcom.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project concerns the novel application of cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy to determine isotope ratios in carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor emitting from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. The NASA Ames Astrobiology Group is interested in studying these vents for the possible existence of a subsurface microbiological ecosystem, whose occurrence may be partially detected by measuring such isotope ratios. In Phase I, we will demonstrate the ability to make all three of these ratio measurements in a single, multiplexed instrument using both simulated and actual hydrothermal gas samples. Preliminary results suggest that our system can determine isotope ratios to better than 0.1%, which is sufficient to determine the presence of biological activity. The Phase II effort will consist primarily of packaging the instrument for deep-sea environments and subsequent testing in conjunction with NASA. The final Phase II prototype will be delivered to the NASA Ames Astrobiology Group. This instrument will be the first remotely operable sensor capable of measuring isotope ratios with sufficient precision to indicate the presence of biological activity in deep-sea environments.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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