Andover, MA, United States
Andover, MA, United States

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Patent
Sandia Corporation and Physical Sciences, Inc | Date: 2015-05-07

The present invention enables elective emission from a heterogeneous metasurface that can survive repeated temperature cycling at high temperatures (e.g., greater than 1300 K). Simulations, fabrication and characterization were performed for an exemplary cross-over-a-backplane metasurface consisting of platinum and alumina layers on a sapphire substrate. The structure was stabilized for high temperature operation by an encapsulating alumina layer. The geometry was optimized for integration into a thermophotovoltaic (TPV) system and was designed to have its emissivity matched to the external quantum efficiency spectrum of 0.6 eV InGaAs TPV material. Spectral measurements of the metasurface resulted in a predicted 32% optical-to-electrical power conversion efficiency. The broadly adaptable selective emitter design can be easily scaled for integration with TPV systems.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 225.00K | Year: 2016

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Sensorineural hearing loss SNHL which typically originates in the inner ear is the most common otologic problems caused by aging and noise trauma The cochlea a delicate and complex biological mechanosensory transducer has been extensively studied with the goal of improving diagnosis of SNHL and developing therapeutic approaches for it Today clinical imaging of the cochlea is limited to compute tomography scans and magnetic resonance imaging neither of which provide intracochlear structural detail due to limited resolution Physical Sciences Inc in collaboration with Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary proposes to develop an endoscopic multimodal optical imager that combines optical coherence tomography OCT and autofluorescence imaging AFI to simultaneously acquire structural and biochemical changes related to SNHL A laboratory OCT AFI imager will first be built and evaluated on a mouse model of cochlear hearing loss Then a prototype endoscopic OCT AFI imager will be developed and its feasibility for human use will be tested using cadaveric temporal bones in Phase I The in vivo testing of the endoscopic dual modality will be performed during the Phase II program If successful this technology will contribute to significant improvement in the diagnosis of SNHL Furthermore this technology can also be used to assist in surgical planning during inner ear surgery such as cochlear implant surgery PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE The central focus of this project is to facilitate the understanding of multi functional characteristics of the cochlea and demonstrating the capability of multimodal optical imaging technology as a potential diagnostic imaging tool for diagnosis of sensorineural hearing loss by imaging both structural and biochemical changes of the impaired cochlea Therefore this technology can improve the diagnostic accuracy of SNHL and lead to significantly improved outcomes of the inner ear surgery


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 229.88K | Year: 2016

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant The goal of the proposed SBIR program is to develop an innovative atmospheric pressure microwave microplasma technology for the generation of charge neutral reactive oxygen and nitrogen species to replace vapor Phase hydrogen peroxide VPHP in parenteral drug manufacturing facilities including barrier isolator sterilization system and lyophilizers The proposed replacement of VPHP will eliminate the significant shortcomings associated with residual VPHP following sterilization including its deleterious effects on biotechnology drug therapies and the challenge associated with reliably monitoring part per billion ppb levels of VPHP in a manufacturing environment without the need for a PhD level scientist to operate the chemical detection system This development targets the USFDA process analytical technology PAT initiative for building quality into pharmaceutical products the industry Quality by Design QbD initiative and Executive Order to modernize pharmaceutical manufacturing The proposed Randamp D supports increasing the availability of critical drug products like vaccines and biotechnology drugs the fastest growing segment of the industry Improved manufacturing technologies will ultimately reduce the costs of prescription drug products PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE The proposed project will develop a novel low power reactive oxygen and nitrogen device for decontaminating parenteral pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 224.98K | Year: 2016

The rate of climate change in the Arctic is larger than elsewhere on Earth. The Arctic has unique and complex couplings and feedbacks between the surface and the atmosphere that in turn modify the radiative balance there differently than elsewhere. Current understanding holds that an increase in downwelling long wave radiative flux, driven by increased water vapor and clouds, may be accelerating climate change. There is a need to measure the thermodynamic state (water vapor, temperature and pressure) of the Arctic troposphere. A new compact sensor payload deployed on a small Unmanned Aircraft System is an efficient route to providing the data needed to advance our understanding. The overall objective of the Phase I project is to demonstrate the feasibility of a compact sensor payload to make high precision measurements of water vapor from a small unmanned aircraft. The payload is based on a diode laser optical absorption sensor and sensitive detection technology. The feasibility will be evaluated through signal modeling, engineering design, and laboratory experiments. In the Phase I program, a design will be developed for a flight- worthy, compact sensor with the precision and accuracy required for the target measurements and that will be deployable on a small unmanned aircraft system. Laboratory experiments will demonstrate the required measurement precision, accuracy, and sensitivity. In the Phase II program, a prototype sensor will be fabricated, tested, and field demonstrated. Predictions of global climate change rely on models incorporating precise knowledge of greenhouse gases such as H2O and clouds. Measurements using the high sensitivity instrument for monitoring water vapor that this program will develop can be used to decrease the uncertainties that still remain. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The proposed airborne sensor will enable measurements of water vapor on a wider scale and at higher frequencies than are possible now. This is especially important in monitoring climate change in the Arctic. The larger database from more frequent studies will directly benefit the goals of DoE’s Atmospheric Radiation Monitoring program’s effort to create climate monitoring facilities on the North Slope of Alaska in support of the climate science goals of the Climate and Environmental Sciences Division. The basic sensor platform will be adaptable to applications requiring sensitive measurement of trace gases where sensor robustness and size are critical to performance, such as monitoring networks for greenhouse gases.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2016

Compact, broad band, high speed hyperspectral imagers are needed for dynamic vegetation trait determination from unmanned aerial vehicle platforms. Dynamic trait determination will replace incomplete plant functional type classification limited by fixed parameterization with the result of more accurate prediction of carbon fluxes by Earth system models. • General statement of how this problem is being addressed. A novel, compact, robust, broadband hyperspectral imager tailored for airborne vegetation trait mapping will be modeled, developed, and tested. Spectral analysis algorithms will be developed to convert the measured hyperspectral cubes into trait maps. • What is to be done in Phase I? Under the Phase I a system model will be generated, and a bread- board system will be designed, built, and tested. The spectral analysis algorithm will be developed and used to demonstrate vegetation trait mapping using the breadboard system. The Phase I will also produce requirements and a conceptual design for a prototype instrument to be fully developed under a Phase II effort. • Commercial Applications and Other Benefits. UAV-based vegetation trait mapping is the primary application for the proposed system. Tangential applications include airborne mineral exploration and crop monitoring. This technology also has application to airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and remote material detection, including chemical and biological warfare agents and explosives. This technology may also be used for process monitoring. Benefits include the compact size, ruggedness, broad spectral coverage, and automated vegetation trait mapping capability.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.05M | Year: 2015

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes the development of a processing system based on a Recursive Bayesian Classifier (RBC) for detection, tracking, and classification of biological clouds using imagery from existing uncooled thermal imagers. This solutio


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.05M | Year: 2015

Physical Sciences, Inc. (PSI) has incorporated a gas generating chemistry (GGC) with obscurant particles to enhance dissemination. Particles treated with GGC yielded an obscurant cloud 1.7 times larger than the same mass of untreated samples during pyrotechnic burster field tests. Several GGC were successfully demonstrated during the Phase I program. They differ in their gas generation volume and their sensitivity to temperature and shock. The GGC creates microturbulence via deflagration/decomposition during obscurant dissemination and results in a high single particle separation efficiency. The GGC will be developed for use with pneumatic obscurant particle dissemination during the proposed Phase II program. PSI will demonstrate the GGC for pneumatically disseminated carbon fiber, TiO2 particle and brass flake obscurants. We will also optimize a GGC for use with pyrotechnic TiO2 M106 visible obscurant grenades. We have demonstrated alignment processes for fiber obscurants and will further develop and test these approaches during the Phase I Option using brass flake obscurants. During the course of the Phase II program PSI will provide a series of obscurants for pneumatic and pyrotechnic dissemination at ECBC and Capco to demonstrate the enhanced extinction provided by the PSI GGC and alignment methods.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 990.85K | Year: 2016

Physical Sciences Inc. proposes to develop and demonstrate a scale-up process for a unique insensitive munition (IM) compliant, high performance, green storable liquid propellant. This new propellant formulation can be treated as a monopropellant or as a bipropellant system with predicted specific impulse and density specific impulses exceeding NTO/MMH performance. The liquid propellant enables the development of high performance pump and / or pressure fed systems for advanced interceptor propulsion systems while simultaneously reducing handling operations as compared to current state-of-art. In Phase II, we will build on the Phase I success to develop a scalable mixing process that is affordable and easy to implement at the industrial scale. We will characterize the efficacy of the liquid propellant as a function of quantity produced to ensure processing, combustion, IM, and engine performance reliability. The results generated in Phase II will ensure realistic system level design architecture of the interceptor vehicle and its propulsion system within operational mission requirements for implementation in Phase III.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.78K | Year: 2016

ABSTRACT:Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to develop a single-photon source based on a diamond nano-crystal coupled to a micro-cavity. Defects in crystalline diamond have demonstrated excellent single photon properties with g^(2)(0) < 0.02. Our diamond nano-crystal will produce single photons in the near-visible transparency windows. By coupling a single nano-crystal to an optical micro-cavity in the strong-Purcell regime, the linewidth of the single-photon emission can be narrowed to 1 GHz with emission jitter of ~ 100 ps, enabling unconditionally secure, free-space quantum communication. In the Phase I program, PSI demonstrated a cavity-emitter design that is capable of producing high-data rate, narrow-emission linewidth single photons, and characterized the emitters that will be used in the system. In the Phase II program, PSI will develop a prototype on-demand single photon source capable of transmitting data at > 1e6 bits per second that will enable rapid, secure key generation for free-space quantum key distribution.BENEFIT:Quantum communication promises an unconditionally secure method for information transfer. True single photon sources are necessary to assure security and can operate more than 10x faster than attenuated laser pulses. Military, financial, medical and other institutions with sensitive data will benefit from practical improvements to quantum communications links. PSI envisions ending Phase II with a production-ready SPS prototype and envisions producing complete SPS units to sell independently and as partner products to our atomic line filters (ALFs). The micro-cavity and rapid polarization rotator technologies that will be advanced as part of this effort will also benefit sensing and classical communication application areas.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 747.76K | Year: 2016

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to develop a novel ophthalmic imaging platform for the characterization and monitoring of visual impairment observed in long-duration space flights. This platform will combine non-invasive measurement of retina/choroid structure and ocular blood flow based on Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and wide-field semi-quantitative global flow visualization using Line-scanning Doppler Flowmetry (LSDF). During Phase II a system will be fabricated utilizing the most deeply penetrating waveband around 1060 nm which is especially critical for choroidal imaging. Therefore, the PSI's instrument will address the need for accurate 3D measurement of posterior segment layer thicknesses and volumes, and vascular (retinal and choroidal) topology and flow quantification. This novel imaging platform will enable Phase II imaging studies in animals and human subjects in normal and fluid-shift models of micro-gravity conditions, which are in line with the International Space Station (ISS) mission. Prior PSI experience in developing advanced ophthalmic imaging systems and space-qualified hardware will be leveraged to ensure the successful outcome of this important R&D program.

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