Trace Contaminant Monitor for Air in Spacecraft

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$99,999.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX10CE28P
Agency Tracking Number:
094490
Solicitation Year:
2009
Solicitation Topic Code:
X2.03
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Mesa Photonics
5 Bisbee Court, Santa Fe, NM, 87508-1419
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
607619223
Principal Investigator:
David Bomse
Principal Investigator
(505) 216-5015
dbomse@mesaphotonics.com
Business Contact:
Daniel Kane
Business Official
(505) 216-5015
djkane@mesaphotonics.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
A need exists for analyzers that can measure trace contaminants in air on board spacecraft. Toxic gas buildup can endanger the crew particularly during long missions. Some gases are generated by people and emitted through the skin or by exhalation. In addition to carbon dioxide, these anthropogenic gases include carbon monoxide, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, acetaldehyde, and methanol. Plastics used in the spacecraft cabin can outgas formaldehyde, and heat exchangers can leak ammonia into breathing air. Overheating electronics can release carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride. Thus, continuous air monitoring is required. Mesa Photonics proposes development of a highly miniaturized, highly efficient Fourier Transform (FT) spectrometer for continuous monitoring of contaminant air. The spectrometer will be able to detect a wide range of compounds with response times of about 30 seconds. Our approach combines several innovations that will lead to a rugged and reliable spectrometer capable of space-based operation and having a long shelf life. Spectrometers will be about the size of a lap-top computer, weigh about 4 kg, and consume about 10 W. Most target contaminants will be detectable at part-per-million or lower concentrations.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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