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Ultra-High Precision Laser Isotope Monitor for I3CO2, CO180 and CO170

Award Information
Agency: Department of Commerce
Branch: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Contract: WC-133R-15-CN-0086
Agency Tracking Number: 14-2-011
Amount: $399,996.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.3.1R,C
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-08-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-08-15
Small Business Information
45 Manning Road
Billerica, MA 01821-3976
United States
DUNS: 030817290
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 David Nelson, PhD
 Vice President
 (978) 932-0207
Business Contact
 Jiri Cistecky
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (987) 932-0217
Research Institution

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are primary drivers of global climate change. Hence there is a crucial need to quantify their sources and sinks. A powerful method to constrain source and sink strengths is the analysis of the relative proportions of isotopic variants of GHG’s in atmospheric samples like those collected globally by NOAA’s Cooperative Air Sampling Network. Measurements that are capable of informing climate science require extremely high precision. The standard technique, isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS), is precise but is limited by laborious sample processing requirements, high capital cost, high maintenance and impracticality of field deployment. We avoid these limitations with an alternative method to measure the isotopic composition of the most important GHG: carbon dioxide. Using Tunable Infrared Laser Direct Absorption Spectroscopy (TILDAS), we demonstrate measurement precision at least as good as IRMS and exceeding that requested until Sub-Topic 8.3.1 for ō13C-CO2 (0.006 vs. 0.01‰_ and ō18O-CO2 (0.007 vs. 0.02‰). During Phase II we will produce and demonstrate a commercial instrument meeting this standard while measuring small discreet air samples (<60 ml). We rely on two innovations: a small volume, high vacuum optical cell and a rapid sample switching method promoting long term signal averaging, without measurement drift.

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

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