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Andover, MA, United States

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.


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 Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.94K | Year: 2015

Higher energy density batteries are required in order to increase vehicle range and facilitate adoption. A significant amount of research has been devoted to developing new materials with increased capacity and performance. In order to minimize the cell weight, new cell design techniques are also required that minimize the mass fraction of the inactive components. The Phase II effort will build on the Phase I results and demonstrate the ability to construct cells offering a ~25% increase in cell energy density as compared to cells built with current components and techniques. Two improvements will be made to realize these gains. First, a novel anode current collector will reduce the inactive weight in the cell. Second, commercially available cathode materials offering higher capacity will be integrated together with an electrode formulation technique that maximizes the active material percentage. During the Phase I effort, a novel anode current collector and cathode coating/electrode formulation techniques were successfully demonstrated that enable the construction of lithium ion cells with increased energy density. Testing demonstrated the ability to increase the energy density while maintaining the cycle life required for use in electric vehicles. The objective of the Phase II effort is to scale-up the technologies demonstrated during Phase I so as to produce cells with higher energy density than achievable using conventional materials and techniques. Testing will demonstrate that these cells deliver the required cycling and rate performance required for use in electric vehicle applications. The developed techniques will allow the design of cells offering higher energy densities at lower cost for all commercial applications. For electric vehicles, this will reduce the normalized cost of powertrain systems, enabling widespread adoption by the consumer vehicle market.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.93K | Year: 2015

Ensuring safety and public acceptance of Geologic Carbon Sequestration (GCS), a preferred means of mitigating CO2 emissions from fossil-fueled plants, requires novel cost-effective tools and methods for monitoring, verifying, and accounting (MVA) to detect any CO2 leakage from sequestration reservoirs. A complementary need exists for the ability to monitor the progress of the injected CO2 plume and its preferred migration paths. Requisite tools include reliable long-term sensitive, autonomous and cost- effective measurements to detect, locate, and quantify the presence of migrating or escaping CO2. We are developing a laser-based sensor for permanently-installed, downhole CO2 measurements at GCS sites. This sensor is small and robust and versatile enough to be deployed in injection, monitor, and microhole wells (~1-3 dia.) to several thousand meters depth. The system employs a tunable laser beam transmitted via optical fiber to interrogate reservoir fluid in situ via a remote probe sensor head suspended downhole. The novel technology will supplement PSIs ground-level laser-based sensor prototype, demonstrated at the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortiums (MGSC) Validation Field Project Site in Decatur, IL. In the Phase I program, proof of principle was established for overcoming the spectroscopic challenges of laser-based absorption measurements in the extremes of the downhole environment. Laboratory measurements of high pressure and temperature CO2 and brine supported the predicted CO2 detection capabilities. Discussions with industry helped provide a greater understanding of the application needs, as well as important engineering details for downhole sensor deployment. A top level design concept was also generated as a starting point for a Phase II prototype. The proposed Phase II project entails the sequential design and construction of an Alpha and Beta prototype sensor, the former to be tested in a high pressure, high temperature laboratory chamber, and the latter to be deployed down a monitor well at a GCS research site. These efforts will be supplemented by an analysis and testing of the sensor capability on enhanced oil recovery (EOR) downhole fluids. Finally, a final design and market strategy for a commercial prototype sensor will be designed. This network of downhole sensors will provide (1) improved understanding of CO2 storage and transport processes, (2) continuous monitoring of migration of stored CO2, and (3) assurance of storage reservoir stability, including protection of neighboring property and aquifers. Commercial sensor sales are envisioned worldwide for geologic sequestration programs and research, oil and gas industry, deep seawater inorganic carbon characterization, and in monitoring supercritical carbon dioxide applications (solvent, refrigerant, sterilizer, reagent).


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

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