Ultrasensitive Airborne Instrumentation for the Quantification of Aerosol Precursors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-07ER84896
Agency Tracking Number: 83256
Amount: $736,885.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: 50
Solicitation Number: DE-PS02-06ER06-30
Small Business Information
Los Gatos Research
67 East Evelyn Avenue, Suite 3, Mountain View, CA, 94041
DUNS: 928805761
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Manish Gupta
 (650) 965-7772
Business Contact
 Anthony O'Keefe
Title: Dr
Phone: (650) 965-7772
Email: a.okeefe@lgrinc.com
Research Institution
Carbonaceous aerosols warm the atmosphere while sulfate aerosols reflect sunlight, moderating climate warming. In laboratory experiments, sulfate aerosol formation depends, in a strong, non-linear manner, on ammonia concentrations. There are limited field-studies, and uncertainties are partially responsible for limitations in predicting aerosol nucleation globally. Improving scientific understanding of aerosol formation is crucial and timely because of the need to better characterize climate sensitivities and assess warming mitigation options that involve the use of aerosol injections into the stratosphere. Current ammonia analysis instrumentation is expensive, heavy, and requires cryogens. This project will address these problems by developing ultrasensitive airborne and terrestrial instrumentation capable of rapidly quantifying trace levels of ammonia, and other critical aerosol precursors. The Phase I project demonstrated technical feasibility by fabricating an Off-Axis ICOS analyzer that accurately measured ammonia in trace concentrations. The Phase I results were used to design a Phase II prototype. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The Phase II project will develop and deliver two analyzer systems capable of making field measurements of ammonia and other aerosol precursors at ambient levels. The first instrument will be optimized for ammonia flux measurements and delivered to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories for field studies. The second instrument will be customized for airborne deployment aboard a DOE research aircraft and delivered to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Final Phase II work will include measuring and analyzing preliminary data for both terrestrial and aerial deployments in conjunction with DOE researchers.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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