Shoreview, MN, United States
Shoreview, MN, United States

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Patent
Msp Corporation | Date: 2016-07-06

A method for controlling liquid flow through an apparatus comprising an orifice (245) and an adjacent flexible diaphragm (220) separated from each other by a gap (225) through which a liquid flows, the orifice (245) comprising a liquid outlet (255) within a gas flow passageway (290), the method comprising: flexing the diaphragm (220) to vary a size of the gap (225) to control the rate of liquid flowing through the orifice (245) or to provide a positive liquid shutoff of liquid from flowing through the orifice (245); characterised by providing a gas to flow at a velocity higher than approximately 20 meters/second through the gas flow passageway outlet (300) and flowing the gas through the gas outlet (300) in substantially the same direction as the liquid flowing through the liquid outlet (255) to reduce the size of liquid droplets formed at the outlet (255), wherein the outlet (255) is located downstream of the orifice (245) and in fluid communication therewith.


Patent
Msp Corporation | Date: 2016-07-22

A device having a cavity configured to receive or to hold an e-cigarette, which includes a push-hold button to actuate vapor generation and/or formation. The device further comprises an automatic plunger capable of pressing the push-hold button based upon a command. The plunger may receive the command from a controller or alternatively from the airflow caused by the puff. A mechanism configured for positioning the automatic plunger proximate to the push-hold button is also incorporated into the device.


Patent
Msp Corporation | Date: 2015-05-11

An apparatus and method for generating a vapor with a compact vaporizer design and exposing the gas and liquid mixture for vaporization to a reduced maximum temperature. A gas and liquid droplet flow through a metal housing configured to heat the gas and liquid droplet mixture flow for vaporization includes directing the gas and liquid droplet mixture through an inlet of the metal housing and flowing the gas through a tortious flow path defined by a plurality of tubular flow passageways arranged around a central axis for vaporization. Residual liquid droplets may be further vaporized by flowing through a second metal housing configured to heat the gas and liquid droplet mixture for vaporization and having a similar construction to the first metal housing and providing a second tortious flow path.


Patent
Msp Corporation | Date: 2015-09-11

An air conditioning system that includes an evaporator stage, first and second sorption stages that transition between active states and regeneration states, a compressor stage that receives a portion of a refrigerant vapor from the first or second sorption stage in the active state, a condenser stage that receives the refrigerant vapors from the compressor and from the first or second sorption stage in the regeneration state in a manner that bypasses the compressor stage, and where condenser stage also condenses the received refrigerant vapors and directs the refrigerant condensate to the evaporator stage.


Patent
Msp Corporation | Date: 2015-04-29

A method and apparatus for generating aerosol particles that are substantially uniform in size said apparatus includes a droplet generator comprised of a metal capillary for a liquid to flow through to form a liquid stream flowing into a gas stream. The metal capillary is vibrated by a piezoelectric ceramic at a substantially constant frequency to cause the liquid stream to breakup into droplets that are substantially uniform in size in the gas stream, the gas stream being maintained at a velocity in the range between approximately 10% to 100% of the speed of sound.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 225.00K | Year: 2015

This Phase I SBIR project addresses the need for an instrument to measure the chemical composition of size-classified ambient aerosols in real time. In particular, this instrument will require minimal user interaction and be adaptable to airborne measurements. The proposed measurements would help us understand how aerosol particles are processed in the atmosphere by chemical reactions and by clouds, and how hygroscopic particle properties change as the particles age. These results are critical for an understanding of the ongoing climate change. To this end, a novel technique is proposed that performs mass spectrometry on the ions of various chemical species released from the aerosol. It automates the process by electrostatically depositing the particles on a thin rod, washing them away with a solvent and electrospraying the solution to obtain ions of the soluble compounds. This process results in soft ionization of various molecules with minimal fragmentation. Besides being valuable for atmospheric research, our proposed instrument would be worthwhile in monitoring air quality as regulated by EPA. It would be superior to existing instruments due to analysis in near real-time, automation, portability, and ability to measure large and fragile molecules. The proposed instrumentation would also make it easier to monitor particulate matter in occupational environments like mines, powder processing, and semiconductor manufacturing, as well as areas affected by forest fires. Keywords: aerosol instrument, chemical composition, real-time measurement Summary for the Members of Congress: This project brings together a team of leading aerosol experts to develop a cutting-edge technology for investigating the chemistry of airborne particles, which is critical for the understanding of climate change. The resulting instrument will also be an advanced tool for monitoring and controlling air pollution.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is aimed at utilizing aerosol technology to solve heat transfer problems in small-scale air conditioning systems, thus enabling the use of water as a refrigerant in small-scale units for domestic and automobile applications. A water-based air conditioning system must operate under vacuum, thus raising concerns of air leaking into the system. Also, the presence of water in a system is associated with the risk of corrosion. Further, the proposed system requires design and development of a special compressor. These issues are addressed in this project and viable solutions are proposed. Advancements in the pertinent technologies are now enabling realization of water-based air conditioning systems. This project underlines the importance of revisiting the conventional technologies with the new tools developed for the advanced technologies. The anticipated outcome of this Phase I project is a fully functional lab prototype of a water-based air conditioning system with a capacity of 0.25 ton. A successful Phase I project will enable development of field prototypes for domestic and automobile applications in the Phase II project. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project encompasses all air conditioning applications; in particular, the markets of newly built homes and new automobiles. The domestic US market for these two businesses is $5B/year, with potentially 10 times this market on a worldwide basis. Annual revenue expectations exceed $100 million. Besides offering a significant commercial opportunity, the proposed product will have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the use of existing refrigerants that have a high global warming potential, when released into the atmosphere. Production of the existing refrigerants involves multiple steps starting with extraction of chemicals like methane and sodium chloride from the natural environment. Various steps in production of the conventional refrigerants are often energy-intensive and produce hazardous waste. On the other hand, water is abundantly available in the anticipated global marketplace and its purification is a relatively straightforward process. Hence, the proposed approach will enable a new, substantial and sustainable technology.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is aimed at utilizing aerosol technology to solve heat transfer problems in small-scale air conditioning systems, thus enabling the use of water as a refrigerant in small-scale units for domestic and automobile applications. A water-based air conditioning system must operate under vacuum, thus raising concerns of air leaking into the system. Also, the presence of water in a system is associated with the risk of corrosion. Further, the proposed system requires design and development of a special compressor. These issues are addressed in this project and viable solutions are proposed. Advancements in the pertinent technologies are now enabling realization of water-based air conditioning systems. This project underlines the importance of revisiting the conventional technologies with the new tools developed for the advanced technologies. The anticipated outcome of this Phase I project is a fully functional lab prototype of a water-based air conditioning system with a capacity of 0.25 ton. A successful Phase I project will enable development of field prototypes for domestic and automobile applications in the Phase II project.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project encompasses all air conditioning applications; in particular, the markets of newly built homes and new automobiles. The domestic US market for these two businesses is $5B/year, with potentially 10 times this market on a worldwide basis. Annual revenue expectations exceed $100 million. Besides offering a significant commercial opportunity, the proposed product will have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the use of existing refrigerants that have a high global warming potential, when released into the atmosphere. Production of the existing refrigerants involves multiple steps starting with extraction of chemicals like methane and sodium chloride from the natural environment. Various steps in production of the conventional refrigerants are often energy-intensive and produce hazardous waste. On the other hand, water is abundantly available in the anticipated global marketplace and its purification is a relatively straightforward process. Hence, the proposed approach will enable a new, substantial and sustainable technology.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 220.35K | Year: 2014

Project Summary Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) is a major complication of retinal detachments and is responsible for most of the failures in retinal reattachment surgeries. About 10% of retinal detachment patients suffer from PVR. These patients often have poor visual outcome despite multiple surgeries. Our previous work on inhibition of PVR has focused on pharmacological intervention concurrent with the retinal reattachment surgery. We have developed a porcine PVR model that provides a PVR-affectedmodel eye with anatomical features comparable to human eye. Further, we ensure that the model is based on retinal injury and dispersion of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and not exogenous cells or proteolytic intervention as used in prior research.Our model is closest in pathophysiology to the human disease. For drug delivery, we have developed a novel intraocular aerosol generator (IAG), which generates a fine mist of drug solution at the tip of 25 gauge needle. IAG allows dispersing microgram qu


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 989.02K | Year: 2013

In atmospheric aerosol research, size-distributed aerosol samples are often collected with airborne instrumentation, but are not analyzed in any manner until after they are brought to a laboratory on the ground. The information thus obtained is averaged for all the locations covered during the mission. A novel technology is being developed in this project to constantly measure the size-distributed mass and hygroscopic behavior of aerosols during the flight while samples are collected. This project addresses the Department of Energys interest in measurement of airborne aerosol size distributions using instruments onboard aircrafts, and addresses a key need in understanding the role of aerosols in cloud formation. Cascade impactors are a reliable and traditional method for collecting size-distributed aerosol samples. Each stage of a cascade impactor collects aerosols of a certain narrow size range. MSPs MOUDI impactors are industry standard for research-grade impactor measurements. To address the present needs, this project has focused on incorporating a microbalance with rapid electronic measurement of the mass of collected particles on each stage of the cascade impactor. Further, we have sought microbalances that would be sensitive to moisture gain and loss by the collected sample, and measure aerosol hygroscopicity. In Phase I of this project we evaluated the feasibility of two different approaches to meet the above need. A MEMS device was tested as a microbalance, because of the anticipated high sensitivity of the device. A highly sensitive device would have allowed us to reduce the overall instrument size. However, the MEMS devices had typically an unstable baseline reading in the presence of an air flow (e.g., while sampling) and proved to be difficult to use. We also tested impedance-based quartz crystal microbalances (IQCM) on several stages of a cascade impactor. These IQCM sensors provided sub-nanogram resolution in measuring deposited aerosols. We found that the IQCM sensors provide a cleanable smooth surface for particle deposition and one that can be exposed to high and low-humidity air without affecting the sensor performance. This attribute is ideal for measuring moisture uptake and relative humidity values at which deliquescence and efflorescence happens. Further, we developed microelectronics that eliminates noise and enables digitizing signals as early as possible and processing them at the sensor site to determine the resonance frequency within a fraction of a second in a digital form. In Phase II, we plan to build two cascade impactors with real-time mass measuring ability on five stages covering the 10-nm to 600-nm size range. Incoming air will be heated to dry the aerosols and maintain low humidity condition. In a basic mode of operation, one of the impactors will measure the dry aerosol mass, whereas the flow to the second impactor will be humidified and dehumidified to detect the point at which deliquescence starts during the rising phase of the humidity, which would last long enough to measure the moisture uptake on each stage. The relative humidity for efflorescence will be determined during the falling phase of the humidity. These cascade impactors with the ability to measure real-time mass and hygroscopicity will be made flight-worthy and be available with a complete software package enabling a skilled user to operate the instrument and acquire the data. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Following a successful Phase II project, MSP will develop a similar product for this research market, such as MSPs current MOUDI customers. Further, a simpler and lower cost device will be developed for PM2.5 monitoring, aimed at the air quality compliance marketplace. In addition to providing the mass of fine particles (smaller than 2.5 micron), this device will have the unique ability to determine the hygroscopicity of the collected sample, enabling the user to estimate a particle-related visibility index, which is expected to become a part of future clean air standards, because it is now well-established that particulate matter is often responsible for atmospheric haze and poor visibility conditions.

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