Cavity-Enhanced Gas Analyzer for In-Situ Sampling of Biogenic Gases and Their Isotopes

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNC06CB01C
Agency Tracking Number: 053937
Amount: $69,299.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: S2.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
67 East Evelyn Avenue, Suite 3, Mountain View, CA, 94041-1518
DUNS: 928805761
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Manish Gupta
 Principal Investigator
 (650) 965-7874
Business Contact
 Anthony O'Keefe
Title: President and CEO
Phone: (650) 965-7772
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project concerns the novel application of cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy to quantify biogenic gases (CH4, CO2, and NH3) and their isotopes (13C/12C and 18O/16O) on Mars and other future planetary missions. These species and their isotope ratios are of critical importance to NASA, because they have been implicating in biological activity and can provide decisive evidence for a biosphere on other planets. In Phase I, we will demonstrate technical feasibility by building a miniature, lightweight Off-Axis ICOS spectrometer and employing it to accurately quantify biogenic gases and their associated isotopes at concentrations approximating the expected Martian atmosphere. The prototype will be tested under both mechanical vibrations and thermal fluctuations to validate its robustness. Final Phase I work will entail developing a gas sampling strategy suitable for Mars and designing a complete analyzer system. In Phase II, Los Gatos Research will build and deliver this analyzer with a fully-integrated electronics package that satisfies NASA's size, weight, and power requirements for Mars deployment. The proposed instrument will be the first sensor capable of measuring the concentrations and isotopes ratios of critical biogenic gases in a compact, lightweight, and low-power package.

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

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