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SBIR/STTR

Airborne Isotopic Hydrocarbon Analyzer for Titan, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Airborne Isotopic Hydrocarbon Analyzer for Titan, Phase I
Trace species measurement on unmanned atmospheric research craft suitable for interplanetary travel is a demanding application for optical sensing techniques. Yet optical techniques offer many advantages including high-precision, fast response, and strong species selectivity. Balloonsonde, kite, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or glider deployment demands that optical sensors meet stringent size, weight and power requirements. Vista Photonics proposes to develop rugged, compact, battery-powered optical sensor technology capable of selectively determining hydrocarbons and selected isotopomers at Titan-relevant concentrations. The enabling technology for meeting stringent NASA mission requirements is a new rugged, compact, and lightweight optical path length enhancement cell that recovers the established sensitivity of high-performance optical absorption detection techniques on a platform with no moving parts. The proposed spectrometer will be capable of detecting multiple species with little additional weight or power penalties. More »

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