Low-Power Formaldehyde Detector for Space Applications

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNJ04JC11C
Agency Tracking Number: 034915
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: B3.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1570 Pacheco St Suite E-11, Santa Fe, NM, 87505-3993
DUNS: 153579891
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Daniel Kane
 Principal Investigator
 (505) 984-1322
Business Contact
 Alan Stanton
Title: President
Phone: (505) 984-1322
Email: astanton@swsciences.com
Research Institution
Trace contamination of the International Space Station (ISS) by formaldehyde?a known carcinogen? is a significant potential threat to crew health. The spacecraft maximum allowable concentration (SMAC) in air is only 40 parts per billion and ambient concentrations appear to be increasing as formaldehyde outgasses from a variety of plastic components. Monitoring formaldehyde levels is difficult because few analytical methods can achieve sufficient sensitivity from instrumentation that can be adapted for space-based operation. The current detection method ? using absorbent ?badges? ? relies on post-flight analysis of the adsorbent material. Some of those measurements show formaldehyde concentrations close to the SMAC upper bound. As a result, a need exists for a reliable, fully automated analyzer that can provide continuous monitoring of formaldehyde concentrations on board the ISS. The target detection sensitivity is 10 ppb and the response time should be ≤10 minutes. Southwest Sciences proposes the development of an optical analyzer for formaldehyde that is expected to meet the requirements of space-based operation. The instrument will be compact, light weight, require little electrical power and no consumables, and will be able to operate for extended periods (months to years) without maintenance or re-calibration.

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

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