SBIR Phase II: Vapor Generator for the Calibration of Explosive Trace Detectors

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Solitcitation Year:
Solicitation Number:
NSF 05-605
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Small Business Information
MicroFab Technologies Inc
1104 SUMMIT AVE STE 110, PLANO, TX, 75074
Hubzone Owned:
Woman Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Principal Investigator
 Donald Hayes
 (972) 578-8076
Business Contact
 Donald Hayes
Title: PhD
Phone: (972) 578-8076
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project aims to use digitally controlled vapor generators for calibration and test of explosive. Two systems will be created: a research oriented system, targeting manufacturers, for development of new explosive vapor trace detectors and production quality control and a portable system, intended for end users, for field testing and calibration. The use of digitally controlled ink-jet dispensing to precisely eject minute amounts of dilute explosive solutions and convert them into vapor has been demonstrated. We have also identified unique requirements of distinct vapor trace detector models and the actual needs of the marketplace. This project will: design and fabricate the two systems; generate the software control program; formulate explosive solutions customized for commercial explosive vapor trace detectors; develop test protocols for each system; evaluate the systems with commercial vapor trace detectors; and run reliability and repeatability testing. The research performed will also include: material compatibility studies; distribution of various explosive vapors by flow simulations and measurements; shelf life studies of the cartridges; and development of methods to calibrate the cartridges for explosive solutions. The broader impact/commercial potential from this technology will be a method to evaluate the development of the next generation detectors. This project will lead to products (vapor generator systems and associated consumables). These products will provide the means to compare the various explosive trace detectors and to identify the most accurate ones. Ultimately, the ability to further miniaturize the vapor generators will lead to units that are embedded into next generation detectors for real-time verification and calibration. The overall societal benefit of successfully developing vapor generator products will be improved protection of the public, both real and perceived, from terrorist threats while minimizing the cost and negative perception related to false alarms. Technological advances from this project will facilitate basic research on detection mechanisms for explosives, drugs and chemical threats. Researchers in government labs and academia will be able to use the vapor generator to evaluate and quantify improvements of promising detection methods. The technology also has spin-off opportunities in olfaction based medical diagnostics.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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