Robotic Optical Monitor for High Throughput Crystal Growth Experiments

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NAS8-01158
Agency Tracking Number: 012275
Amount: $69,822.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Space Hardware Optimization Technology,
7200 Highway 150, Greenville, IN, 47124
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Todd
 Principal Investigator
 (812) 923-9591
Business Contact
 Mark Deuser
Title: President & CEO
Phone: (812) 923-9591
Research Institution
Macromolecules are crystallized for crystallography in ?screens? consisting of numerous (30-200) small volumes (2 ? 50 muL) of combinations with several (2-10) other solutes. Each combination is frequently over days or weeks to evaluate growth, if any, of crystals, thereby creating of repetitious, labor-intensive tasks. This task could be assigned to an automated roving video microscope using a similar magnification to that used in crystallography (4X ? 70X). However, a roving videomicroscope, requires considerable volume, power, mass, autofocusing and moving mechanical parts. It can have a significant failure rate. These constitute undesirable features for spaceflight and inconvenience in the laboratory. A no-moving-parts Robotic Optical Monitor is proposed. Phase I research will consist of a trade study of the following embedded optoelectronic devices to be tested using a standardized crystal-growth chamber: a 1-dimensional lensless microscope, an area array lensless microscope, a square sensor array with lenslets, a multiangle light scatter sensor, and a two-angle light scatter sensor. The results comparing these methods' ability to provide digitized image or scattering data will be used to select the system(s) with the optimum combination of resolution/information content, power requirement, cost, accuracy and convenience. The selected system(s) will be the focus of Phase II research and market development.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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