Handheld Sensing Device for Pathogenic Detection
Award last edited on: 3/12/2002

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
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Principal Investigator
Teresa Chin

Company Information

Weld Star Technology Inc (AKA: Weld Technology)

8204 Gondola Drive
Orlando, FL 32809
   (334) 887-3985
Location: Multiple
Congr. District: 10
County: Orange

Phase I

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Existing technologies of biological sensing and radio frequency communications developed at Weld Star Technology will be applied to improve the safety of human habitation in space. The innovative sensors for pathogenic biological species possess high sensitivity, selectivity and short response time. This technology is based on the acoustic wave sensor approach and its feasibility has already been demonstrated. The ability to use this technology to monitor the environmental conditions of the cabin water and air with high precision would greatly enhance the safety of astronauts. Phase I of the proposed SBIR project will demonstrate the feasibility of integrating the available sensor with a portable battery powered data acquisition/analysis unit to form a handheld device to determine the concentration of a specific pathogen in recycled water/air. Emphasis will be to design the circuitry, software and power system that will enable a pass/fail decision. Phase II will be devoted to the development of a multi-sensor unit and a RF communication system that will permit remote communication between the handheld unit and a base station. This project will use the conditions aboard the ISS as a model, but is applicable to all space habitats where long term safety of the crew is important. POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS The potential follow on applications of this technology are immense. We can envision a miniaturized (single chip) version that could have tremendous commercial, space and military applications. Envision a single chip that could be embedded in the space suit that would automatically measure temperature, heart beat, blood pressure and other vital signs. In the civilian market these chips could be combined with the appropriate sensors and placed on produce to measure food safety. In poultry processing for instance, a sensor tag would be inserted into the product at the beginning of the process. The sensor tag would contain origin information that could be used to identify a source of pathogens, should it be detected in the product downstream. Interrogator stations would communicate with the sensor tags at various points, determining pathogen levels in addition to measuring processing conditions. The sensor tags would also provide automatic tracking, shipment and inventory at each step from the producer to the distributor to the market. At the market checkout, the sensor tag would be interrogated for the product code and for levels of pathogens as a final check on safety. The sensor tag uses radio frequency and would not require manual optical scanning

Phase II

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