SBIR Phase I: Development of an Affordable and Versatile Spectral Induced Polarization (SIP) Borehole Tool

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Ontash & Ermac Inc
876 Kinderkamack Road, Suite 201, River Edge, NJ, 07661-2343
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Frank Curatola
(201) 265-2189
Business Contact:
Frank Curatola
(201) 265-2189
Research Institution:

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to develop a prototype of a frequency domain spectral induced polarization (SIP) borehole tool that could be used to collect data in boreholes over a wide frequency range with high accuracy/resolution. The SIP technique is an emerging geophysical technology that offers unique information on the physical, chemical and biogeochemical characteristics of porous media not provided by existing geophysical logging tools. The need for such a tool is well recognized, especially in the oil, mining and environmental industries, but technical constraints and economical limitations have previously prevented the technology from being commercialized. The company will design and test a borehole SIP tool to overcome the perceived technical problems. Recent advances in instrumentation, including size and power requirements of the needed electronics, now allow for the construction of such a tool that can offer the required capabilities at an affordable cost. This will be demonstrated by determining the performance of the prototype tool in a laboratory setting by making measurements on materials with known SIP characteristics and by comparisons with bench-top SIP instruments. The tool will also be tested in an experimental tank designed to simulate a borehole as per the perceived field deployment. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be the availability of new and more precise information on the variation of the physical, chemical and biogeochemical properties of the subsurface to be obtained from logging measurements in a borehole. This project is a response to a recognized need in the exploration, water resources and environmental industries for improved resolution of variations in the physicochemical properties of the earth relative to that extractable from existing borehole logging tools. The applications of this innovative tool will include the characterization of new information parameters and the detection and monitoring of geochemical and biogeochemical processes only characterized until now in laboratory settings. The company, a qualifying small business, will broaden their customer base, and both faculty and students at the partner academic institution will be able to utilize the tool to enhance their capabilities for environmental research. This new collaboration between a state university and a local small business will strengthen efforts to promote collaborations between industry and academia.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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