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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

MEMS Sensor Arrays for Cryogenic Propellant Applications

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

MEMS Sensor Arrays for Cryogenic Propellant Applications
KWJ offers this proposal for a low-power, practical and versatile MEMS sensor platform for NASA applications. The proposed nano-sensor platform is ultra-low power with sub-millisecond electrical response time for thermal conductivity operation. Integration with Pd surface functionalization will lead to enhanced performance for hydrogen sensing and selectivity with helium, while SiC structures can lead to enhanced hydrogen sensing. The KWJ MEMS platform has unique characteristics of small thermal mass and ultra-fast sensor response. The rapid stabilization allows very short operating duty cycles thereby extending battery life while communicating the output in near-real time. The miniature platform enables distributed and stand-alone sensing at low cost and virtually no maintenance and can be integrated with energy harvesting technology for long term remote operation. This adaptable array technology can be employed for detection of hydrogen, oxygen, methane, helium and other hydrocarbons and cryogenic propellants for NASA. In addition to cryogenic system leak detection the platform can address trace levels of nitrogen and water in gaseous helium purge streams. This platform technology offers multiple possibilities for sensor functionality and will create spin-offs for NASA, industrial and medical applications. More »

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