Measuring Low Fluxes of Photons, Neutral Molecules and Ions with a New Generation of Detectors

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX13CG17P
Agency Tracking Number: 124346
Amount: $124,725.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: S1.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
VA, Alexandria, VA, 22314-3452
DUNS: 826025350
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Federico Herrero
 Senior Research Scientist
 (301) 385-2188
Business Contact
 Rebecca Baugh
Title: President
Phone: (571) 331-1960
Research Institution
A new detector evaluation method (DEM) is proposed to determine the response of graphene detectors to low fluxes of photons, neutral atoms/molecules, and ions in the space environment of high to ultra-high vacuum. The method, aimed mainly at evaluation for space applications of new graphene detectors, is also applicable to other detectors operating in non-space environments. DEM will test graphene response to very low fluxes of atoms and molecules, ions, and photons; if sensitive to extremely low fluxes of a few 100/s, the timing of pulses produced by bunched events may open up an entirely new avenue to time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Closely coordinating with the NASA GSFC Detector Systems Branch, DEM will characterize the detector response to enable low-cost demonstrations of ionosphere-thermosphere investigations in low-Earth-orbit in CubeSats and sounding rockets. Space-borne measurements require knowledge of the response to the three kinds of particles: photons, ions, and neutrals, to properly design experiments. DEM controls vacuum pressure at the detector and can validate the application of these new detectors to a new series of mass spectrometers that can operate over a broad range of vacuum pressures (0.1 milliTorr and lower) because of their small size?DEM will add value to cost effective NASA balloon, sounding rocket, and satellite investigations.

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

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