A Compact, Low-Power Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$70,000.00
Award Year:
2002
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NAS10-02041
Agency Tracking Number:
013498
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco St., Suite E-11, Santa Fe, NM, 87505
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
David Bomse
Principal Investigator
(505) 984-1322
dbomse@swsciences.com
Business Contact:
Alan Stanton
President
(505) 984-1322
astanton@swsciences.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
Many hazardous gases that NASA needs to monitor on and around space vehicles during launch could be detected using mass spectrometers that need operate over only a limited mass range. But, stringent requirements of low weight and low power operation, plus the ability to tolerate high G-forces and excessive vibration prevent the ready adaptation of existing, commercial mass spectrometers to these applications. This Phase I SBIR project successfully tested a novel, compact, inexpensive, low power, time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOFMS) for quantitative measurement of hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, oxygen, and argon. The key insight behind our approach is recognizing that a useful TOFMS can be built incorporating a short flight tube that is operated at low energies. Phase I proof-of-principle experiments provide the essential information needed to design and build a prototype instrument that will be delivered to NASA KSC at the end of Phase II. We anticipate that deliverable will meet most of the target parameters specified in the Phase I solicitation: operation between 2 and 40 amu; a measurement dynamic range of 1,000,000; less than 3500 cubic centimeter volume; and, less than 10 kg total weight.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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