Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 300.00K | Year: 2015
DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Energy Research Company ERCo in a collaboration with The City College of New York CCNY and Columbia University Medical Center CUMC proposes developing the Vulnerable Plaque Amplified Optical Analyzer VPAOA a fiber optic catheter instrument based on patented amplified spectroscopy technology for detecting and analyzing vulnerable plaque VP in coronary arteries VP is a type of arterial plaque that is susceptible to sudden rupture often resulting in a heart attack or stroe and death An estimated of sudden heart attack fatalities are due to the formation of a thrombosis following the rupture of a VP When the fibrous cap that covers a VP is less than mm thick it is too thin to contain the plaque in the face of common stresses and is susceptible to sudden rupture With over heart attacks in the U S each year technology to diagnose VP and measure VP caps can be transformative for public health potentially saving thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars in medical costs per year in the U S alone The sensor proposed in this project will detect VP and measure the thickness of the fibrous caps giving cardiologists the predictive knowledge of unstable plaques needed to prevent heart attacks most effectively Conclusively detecting VP is not possible with traditional clinical tools such as intravascular ultrasound IVUS optical coherence tomography OCT and high resolution magnetic resonance imaging MRI These are imaging not diagnostic methods and are therefore limited by their poor sensitivity and ability to predict rupture of VP Even the new near infrared NIR techniques can only provide limited information about a plaque and are plagued by the strong absorption of NIR radiation by water The proposed device overcomes these limitations and provides in vivo diagnostic information and imaging of VP Objectives Phase I of the project will result in a proof of concept prototype device tested on human artery specimens exhibiting different types of plaques Phase II will result in an advanced prototype suitable for testing in a medical center laboratory on suitable animals with VP as preparation for human testing Phase I Specific Aims and Methods to be Employed CCNY will build an amplified spectroscopy system on a laboratory bench and demonstrate signal amplification on human arterial specimens exhibiting plaques ERCo will build a prototype fiber optic catheter probe system capable of generating and analyzing the amplified spectra Finally the catheter probe system will be tested for the ability to i discriminate between VP and non VP specimens and ii measure cap thicknesses of VP plaques with high accuracy This will be done with blind tests on specimens analyzed by andquot gold standardandquot pathology methods at CUMC PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE The proposed project will result in an instrument that will give cardiologists the ability to conclusively diagnose unstable arterial plaques known as vulnerable plaques before a heart attack or stroke occurs potentially saving thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars in medical treatment per year in the United States alone Vulnerable plaques are particularly dangerous because they are susceptible to sudden rupture often resulting in a heart attack or stroke and death Indeed it is estimated that of sudden heart attack fatalities are due to the formation of an arterial blockage known as a thrombosis following the rupture of a vulnerable plaque
Martins V.F.,Energy Research Company |
Borges C.L.T.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
IEEE Transactions on Power Systems | Year: 2011
This paper presents a model for active distribution systems expansion planning based on genetic algorithms, where distributed generation (DG) integration is considered together with conventional alternatives for expansion, such as rewiring, network reconfiguration, installation of new protection devices, etc. The novel approach of planning DG integration together with network expansion is a requirement for the modern active distribution network. However, the uncertainties related to DG power generation and load response growth must be taken into account in order to plan a safe system at a minimum cost. Thus, two different methodologies for uncertainties incorporation through the use of multiple scenarios analysis are proposed and compared. The multiple objectives optimization algorithm applied in the model takes into account the costs of reliability, losses, power imported from transmission, and network investments. © 2006 IEEE.
Borges C.L.T.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro |
Martins V.F.,Energy Research Company
International Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems | Year: 2012
This paper presents a methodology for active distribution networks dynamic expansion planning based on Genetic Algorithms, where Distributed Generation integration is considered together with conventional alternatives for expansion, such as, rewiring, network reconfiguration, installation of new protection devices, etc. All aspects related to the expansion planning problem, such as multiple objective analysis, reliability constraints, modeling under uncertainties of demand and power supplied by Distributed Generation units and multistage planning, which are usually dealt with separately, are considered in an integrated model. Uncertainties are represented through the use of multiple scenario analysis. Multiple stages are incorporated by an algorithm based on the pseudo-dynamic programming theory. Results obtained with a test system and with an actual large scale system are presented and demonstrate the flexibility of applying the model for different purposes active network planning. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Energy Research Company | Date: 2010-08-26
The invention relates to the field of producing electric power by artificially creating an air stream incident on a power-generating module (turbine) using solar-powered batteries. The power-generating module turns, compresses the air stream and directs the latter onto the working surface of a blade-less rotor. The rotor is designed such that a reactive effect is created on the working surfaces thereof, which improves the turbine characteristics. In the proposed method for producing power, use is made of the kinetic and potential energy of the air stream, and also the moment of inertia of the installation and solar-powered batteries. The efficiency of the method reaches 50%, while traditional fuel is economized on and emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere are reduced.
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015
Energy Research Company ERCo), in collaboration with the Safeguards Science and Technology Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, proposes the development of a monitor of fuel rod integrity in spent nuclear fuel storage casks that utilizes spectroscopic measurements. Currently, dry storage casks are the only storage option for spent nuclear fuel in the United States once the fuel is cool enough to be removed from the spent fuel pool. In the absence of a domestic long term storage site or fuel reprocessing plant, the fuel rods will remain in these casks. However, there is no method for inspecting the integrity of fuel rods over time without opening the casks and removing the rods for inspection. The proposed sensor will allow for determining the integrity of the fuel rods from outside the cask. Gases are released from spent fuel rods that fracture. Since dry storage casks are filled with pure helium, no other gases are present in the cask at the time it is sealed. Detecting other gases inside the cask is therefore equivalent to detecting a failing fuel rod. The spectroscopic monitor will be capable of detecting the small quantities of gases in a cask that would be released from a single fractured rod. The concept will be proven in Phase I by making measurements of a gas that is released by a fractured fuel rod using the proposed spectroscopic method in a realistic optical configuration for a dry storage cask. These measurements will yield the design parameters necessary for designing and building a prototype in Phase II. With the concept proved, we will approach cask manufacturers for collaborations in Phase II and beyond. The direct commercial application is for monitoring dry storage casks at nuclear power stations and other locations. As of 2010, 63 licenses for spent fuel dry storage sites have been issued. The Nuclear Energy Institute predicts that by 2026, all but 3 of the 100 currently operating nuclear power reactors will require dry storage for their spent fuel. In addition to the dry storage cask application, we also plan to utilize the technology developed in this project to improve monitoring of nuclear materials in other contexts.
Energy Research Company | Date: 2012-07-18
The invention relates to the field of producing electric power by artificially creating an air stream incident on a power-generating module (turbine) using solar-powered batteries. The power-generating module turns, compresses the air stream and directs the latter onto the working surface of a blade-less rotor. The rotor is designed such that a reactive effect is created on the working surfaces thereof, which improves the turbine characteristics. In the proposed method for producing power, use is made of the kinetic and potential energy of the air stream, and also the moment of inertia of the installation and solar-powered batteries. The efficiency of the method reaches 50%, while traditional fuel is economized on and emissions of CO_(2) into the atmosphere are reduced.
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2011
Energy Research Company (ERCo) proposes the development of an instrument to improve laser-decoating processes through novel real-time control technology. The technology allows for precise and selective removal of the desired coating layer while preserving any underlying coatings and the base material. Because of the real-time nature of the proposed device, using the instrument will not result in a reduction in the decoating rate. The quality of the decoating process will thereby be greatly improved while throughput of the laser decoating system will be unaffected. ERCo has demonstrated the technique in its laboratory and has shown that very accurate coating removal can be obtained. In Phase I, ERCo will demonstrate the device"s ability to automatically and accurately control the removal of topcoat and/or primer layers while preserving underlying layers and the substrate material. BENEFIT: The benefits are the accurate removal of coatings while preserving underlying layers and substrate materials with an instrument that is inexpensive and self contained. This will result in reduced maintenance costs for decoating operations. The federal and civilian markets are large. The federal market includes paint and coating removal from ships, aircraft, and related equipment. The civilian market includes paint removal from commercial jetliners, ships, and bridge maintenance.
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2012
Energy Research Company (ERCo), together with Los Alamos National Laboratory, is developing a new laser-based sensor for improving the safety and efficiency of spent nuclear fuel reprocessing. In commercial-scale nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities there exists a stress between the operator and the inspectorate that results from an attempt to balance nuclear fuel production and international safeguards requirements for the control of nuclear materials. Much of this stress is caused by the near universal dependence of safeguards measurements upon the highly accurate and reliable, but very time consuming, mass spectrometry technique. Much of the time is consumed by highly specialized sample preparation and separation. The technology in the proposed sensor allows the sensor to be in-situ, meaning that samples of the solutions of dissolved spent fuel do not need to be transported to a laboratory, saving considerable time. The technology is also very rapid, allowing for an analysis to be completed in seconds. One reason why the technology is fast is that it determines the concentrations of all the fissile materials at once. The stress between the inspectorate and the plant personnel will be alleviated with this information. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The benefits of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel are significant, and include reducing the volume of spent fuel that needs to be stored and safeguarded and reducing the impact of uranium mining on the environment. Reprocessing is currently done in only a handful of plants around the world. ERCos proposed technology will make it economical and safe to expand nuclear fuel reprocessing.
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.01M | Year: 2013
Energy Research Company (ERCo), Savannah River National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory propose the development of a new sensor for tracking radioactive material during nuclear fuel reprocessing. Reprocessing spent nuclear fuel has significant safety and environmental advantages over the current predominant practice of storing the spent fuel in temporary facilities indefinitely. However reprocessing cannot take place unless safeguards are in place to prevent the theft of radioactive materials by terrorist entities for their use in weapons of mass destruction. Currently these safeguard practices render reprocessing too slow and expensive for widespread adoption. The sensor proposed here enables near-real time accounting of radioactive material, greatly decreasing the cost of reprocessing and thereby removing a major impediment from more widespread nuclear fuel reprocessing. ERCos sensor measures concentrations of chemical elements in- situ and in near real-time, which provides on-the-spot accountancy of plutonium, uranium, and other radioactive materials. This capability greatly restricts the potential for theft of these materials. The speed of the measurements and their coverage of all the elements at once also obviates the need for many time consuming and expensive laboratory analyses of the spent fuel, greatly improving the economics of reprocessing. The laboratory testing apparatus built during Phase I proved the concept of this project by demonstrating highly accurate concentration measurements of relevant chemical elements, including uranium, in acid solutions representative of those in reprocessing plants. The experiments included both single element solutions and multi-element mixtures. ERCo, with guidance from Los Alamos National Laboratory, will build a prototype sensor based on the Phase I laboratory apparatus. The prototype sensor will be demonstrated in a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing facility located in Savannah River National Laboratory during long term tests, and the sensors readings verified by laboratory analyses. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The benefits of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel are significant, and include reducing the volume of spent fuel that needs to be stored and safeguarded and reducing the impact of uranium mining on the environment. Reprocessing is currently done in only a handful of plants around the world. ERCos proposed technology will make it economical and safe to expand nuclear fuel reprocessing both domestically and internationally.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2015
Energy Research Company (ERCo), in collaboration with CoVar Applied Technologies, proposes the development of high throughput, compact, and lower cost spectrometers that can exceed the performance of much larger and more expensive spectrometers. This performance gain is achieved through the use of computational imaging technology. Because the technology can be used from the deep UV to the IR, applications of the spectrometers include sensing modalities such as Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, and infrared spectroscopy. The market advantages of the concept are its higher performance than current compact spectrometers, and lower cost, lighter weight, and smaller size as compared to high performance spectrometer systems. The Phase I work plan will consist of building and testing a laboratory bench top prototype to prove the concept.