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
Amount:
$124,725.00
Award Year:
2013
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX13CG17P
Agency Tracking Number:
124346
Solicitation Year:
2012
Solicitation Topic Code:
S1.04
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Space Systems Research Corporation
VA, Alexandria, VA, 22314-3452
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
Y
Duns:
826025350
Principal Investigator:
Federico Herrero
Senior Research Scientist
(301) 385-2188
herrerof@thessrc.com
Business Contact:
Rebecca Baugh
President
(571) 331-1960
baughb@thessrc.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
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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