Microliter-Sized, Metastable-Helium Ionization Detector with Novel Electrodes

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch:
N/A
Amount:
$600,000.00
Award Year:
1997
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
N/A
Agency Tracking Number:
22797
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
Pcp, Inc.
2155 Indian Road, West Palm Beach, FL, 33409
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
N/A
Principal Investigator
 Martin J. Cohen
 (407) 683-0507
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
For flight experiments in low earth orbits and planetary missions, an innovative electrode structure is proposed to obtain a metastable helium ionization detector of active volume down to a fraction of a microliter for use with microbore and microchannel gas chromatographs. Such a small detector volume is achieved by the special electrode structure and gas flow pattern. In Phase I, the detector structure and function will be optimized with the use of a test fixture which examines the metastable helium ionization performance with a coupled mass spectrometer for mass identification. A new generation of micro-sized gas chromatograph columns requires a micro-volume detector for the measurement of organic chemicals, oxygen and water, down to parts-per-billion. A theoretical model for understanding the detector's operation can be based in part on the research results already achieved by PCP, inc. under Contracts NAS2-12997 and NAS2-13276, entitled Ion Mobility Sensing of Extraterrestrial Volatiles from a Gas Chromatograph. For NASA, the further reduction in detector size leads to a reduction in utilities (gas) requirements and weight in space flight instrumentation.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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