Micromachined Aersol Collector

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 36751
Amount: $749,205.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1997
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
5050 S. Olympia St., Kennewick, WA, 99337
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joseph Birmingham
 (509) 373-6990
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
A micromachined aerosol collection system for biological warfare (BW) agents will be designed, fabricated, and tested. This device can be coupled with a detection technology for use on the traditional battlefield and in counter-terrorism applications. The aerosol collection system we propose to build uses a combination of microelectromechanical and microfluidic technologies capable of trapping airborne viruses, bacteria, molds, and spores and eliminating smokes, dust, and other large particulate interferences. We will utilize advances in precision engineering techniques to develop a system with miniaturized components. The system will consist of three principle elements: (1) microcydones, (2) micro-machined electrostatic precipitators or virtual impactors, (3) micro-channeled liquid collection. This flexible system can be assembled into smaller or larger architectures for a range of applications. It will overcome several limitations of the current biological detector (BIDS) system: (1) micromachined sheet substrate material choice is not limited; silicon, teflon, plastics, ceramics, and metals can be micromachined to be lightweight and compact; (2) laminar flow in micromachined virtual impactors reduces the destruction of biological samples by impaction and increases collection efficiency; (3) the particle size range that can be effectively collected will be improved by an order of magnitude over current devices while power consumption is reduced; and (4) compact micro-architecture reduces size and is ideal for mobile or battlefield applications. Through the innovative use of micro-machined components, our aerosol collection system is extremely flexible and can be developed for personal, vehicular, airborne, or other uses, greatly expanding its range of possible applications. The commercial uses include collection of airborne infectious agents in hospitals and research labs, monitoring confined spaces such as submarines and subways for dangerous airborne biological material; identification of possible "sick building" problems; counter-terrorism monitoring of pathogenic material.

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

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