ABSTRACTS - Phase II
Some of the most ambitious projects in the history of scientific research are now being undertaken at high luminosity particle accelerator facilities at various sites around the globe. Central to the success of these endeavors are the availability of extremely high performance arrays of sophisticated optical sensors, capable of detecting the very fast, very low-light level signals generated by the interaction of high energy particles with fiber optic detectors. Presently, the only technology capable of achieving the required optical performance is a system of detectors which require extremely cumbersome and expensive cryogenic cooling to liquid helium temperatures. Now, as a result of the SBIR program, a new technology has been invented which should greatly reduce the expense and challenge of detecting the faint optical signals central to these scientific quests. This technology consists of arrays of unique, high gain, avalanche photodiodes with such low noise that they can operate at temperatures near -50°C, a temperature range which can be economically reached with little difficulty. In just six months time, Radiation Monitoring Devices has been able to take this device from essentially its conceptual stage up to the form of an actual multi-element array whose performance has been characterized and found to exceed even their initial expectations. This SBIR Phase II research project will complete the technical development of this device so that it will be ready for immediate incorporation at many high energy facilities.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: These new optical sensors are so sensitive that they will be useful for a wide array of optical applications including large high energy physics systems, satellite aiming and communication, and fiber optic data systems.
This project is directed at conducting the necessary research required to commercialize the Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy (DRS) technology for semiconductor wafer temperature measurement. Phase I successfully demonstrated the DRS technique. Phase II is adapting and extending the DRS technology and building a DRS temperature measurement materials database; developing the DRS technology for a process control interface; and adding other process monitoring capabilities to the DRS spectrometer. Research is being conducted in two research venues: (1) The University of Washington is collecting data on GaAs wafer materials, on surface morphology, and epilayer growth; and (2) Thermionics Northwest is analyzing the data received from the research partners, constructing a low-cost improved performance DRS wafer temperature sensor, collecting and analyzing data on Si wafers, and investigating techniques for increasing the temperature measurement range for Si.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The control of wafer temperature is critical to film thickness, uniformity and quality. Most wafer processes require temperature measurement and control to increase yield and device density. In situ temperature sensing with real-time data acquisition is needed for process control. The research conducted in Phase II will support product development of one or more process control products using the DRS technology for semiconductor research and production facilities.
Photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) have unmatched sensitivity for visible or ultraviolet wavelengths. Existing PMTs, however, are inadequate or prohibitively expensive for many applications where sensitivity and gain must be combined with stability and reduced noise requirements. In a very successful Phase I program, Advanced Technology Materials, Inc. (ATMI) showed that semiconducting diamonds' unique properties could be exploited to create a low-noise, high-gain dynode useful for incorporation into a low-cost, high-performance photomultiplier tube. ATMI found that unoptimized boron-doped diamond has high secondary electron yields, the electron emission energy is low, the electron energy distribution is small, the yield is unaltered by air exposure, and the lifetime is equivalent to conventional dynodes. Further, semiconducting diamond won't charge. In Phase II, ATMI is optimizing the growth of diamond for secondary electron emission applications and clarifying the electron transport and emission mechanisms. In collaboration with a PMT manufacturer, ATMI is designing, developing, and testing a low-cost, high-performance photomultiplier tube incorporating diamond dynodes. In Phase III, ATMI will scale up the process to enable volume production of the diamond-based photomultiplier tubes.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Availability of low-cost, high-performance, diamond-based photomultiplier tubes would increase their use in a wide variety of applications. The commercial applications for PMTs and other electron multipliers are many, including medical applications and imaging, oil well logging, pollution monitoring, nuclear and high-energy physics, and spectroscopy.
The scintillation characteristics of cerium-doped yttrium aluminum perovskite (YAP) are being optimized by perfecting the horizontal crystallization technology with which it is produced. Essential to this optimization is the continued phenomenological efforts to model the scintillation processes in rare earth-doped complex single crystal oxide scintillators. Concurrently, they are developing prototype YAP detector systems for two nuclear applicationsæsoft gamma-ray/x-ray spectroscopy with emphasis on Mossbauer measurements and for alpha-particle spectroscopy.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: High quality YAP scintillators could be used in ~10% of sodium iodide applications. Grain-based alpha-particle detectors have potential in high resolution alpha-particle spectroscopy. Soft gamma-ray/x-ray detector systems have several spectroscopic applications particularly high-rate Mossbauer measurements.
Spire is developing a novel thin-film electroluminescent (TFEL) display technology based on porous polysilicon films. Such a technology would not only be more economical and practical than conventional approaches, but could also support monolithic integration of display elements with thin-film transistor (TFT) chip-on-glass driver circuits. The successful Phase I research, which resulted in the first ever electrically induced visible emission from thin films of porous polysilicon on a glass substrate, clearly demonstrated the feasibility of Si-based displays. Many process parameters need to be optimized in Phase II, however, before working displays can be fabricated. Upon optimizing process parameters in Phase II, Spire plans to fabricate red, green, or blue porous polysilicon LEDs with high emission efficiency. They will also attempt to demonstrate a dot matrix alphanumeric display by integrating a 5x7 array of these devices. During Phase II, they will work with a number of display manufacturers to evaluate potential commerciali-zation of Si-based display devices.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: This program offers a rare opportunity for a major advance in flat-panel display technology. With all-silicon processing, panels can be fabricated in large volumes at greater reduced cost for applications such as high definition home television, computer screens, and head-mounted displays.
Demand for portable instruments capable of field and small laboratory testing for heavy metals in complex sample matrices is increasing dramatically, especially in the environmental market. Lead monitors, in particular, are clearly needed. Lead poisoning is an environmental and public health hazard of global proportion. Ubiquitous environmental contamination has led to mandated screening programs instigated by numerous countries that will require millions of tests annually, most accomplished in small laboratories. The goal of this project is to develop and commercialize ASV-based instruments for metal testing in field or small laboratory applications for process monitoring and environmental testing. Methodology includes the use of screen printed sensors containing an ultra-microelectrode array of nanometer-sized gold particles that provide high heavy metal sensitivity. The sensors will be inexpensively mass-produced, pre-calibrated, and used with inexpensive, small, electronic monitors. The expected products are disposable, high-sensitivity, metal-specific sensors paired with a reusable hand-held electrochemical monitor. The disposable sensors, in combination with the monitor, will determine the concentrations of lead, copper and other heavy metals and will meet the criteria of 10-minute assay times in field and small laboratory settings, with appropriate sensitivity and accuracy, at approximately $1.00 per test.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Groundwaters and industrial process waters and effluents require tests of metal levels; lead, copper, cadmium, mercury and zinc being of particular concern. Traditional heavy metal determinations employ relatively large, expensive instruments used under the supervision of skilled professionals. The fieldable sensor/monitor units can measure a wide range of metals and overcomes the expense and difficulty of operating and maintaining these large instruments.
The development of an innovative alternate approach to the evaluation of the Coulomb interactions in large molecules continues. Recently there has been a rapidly growing interest in Density Functional Theory (DFT) as a general procedure for predicting physical properties of molecules, which is relatively inexpensive compared to traditional correlated methods. For the largest molecular systems whose study is feasible by the current DFT programs (several hundred atoms), the treatment of the Coulomb interactions, with its quadratic cost in system size, is computationally dominant. In order to be able to perform calculations on truly large molecules, a reduction in the scaling of the Coulomb contribution is required. The Phase I research established the feasibility of a breakthrough hybrid Fourier/real space method, the KWIK algorithm, which solves the Coulomb problem in only linear work in system size. The experience gained in Phase I with the one-dimensional version of KWIK is being used to develop the extensions that are required to handle two- and three-dimensional systems and to treat the continuous distributions in electronic structure calculations. The Phase I research effort has revealed not only that it is technically feasible to implement the KWIK algorithm, but also that the kernel of a KWIK program module is simple and tunable. It was also shown that the structure of KWIK is quite amenable to simultaneous vectorization and parallelization-ingredients that are both critical to achieving near-peak performance on many modern computing platforms. During Phase II, the Phase I results are being refined and attached to the Q-Chem quantum chemistry program, and the implementation is being extended to parallel platforms. It is therefore anticipated that a highly efficient parallel program for the study of molecules of unprecedented size will result from this work.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The research will allow highly accurate density functional calculations to be carried out on much larger molecular systems than is possible with current techniques and programs. This will be of considerable value to researchers in computational quantum chemistry and physics at universities as well as industrial and government facilities.
Topic 3-Materials Research
This project will develop electronic diagnostics and novel high-velocity electroflocking for advanced materials fabrication. Low-velocity electroflocking is a common textile technology used in the manufacture of pile fabrics such as nylon velour. Electrostatics are used to position large numbers of short fibers ("flock") on and partially into surfaces. To be useful in the production of engineered fiber composite materials, electroflocking must be extended to enable: (1) high packing fractions, (2) highly oriented flock that is strictly vertical, and (3) bulk processing of fiber and whisker materials made of carbon, ceramic or metal. Phase I demonstrated the feasibility of strobe video diagnostics and higher velocity electroflocker design. Phase II will continue hardware development, velocity diagnostics, process modeling, fiber implantation development, and process scale up. Commercial applica-tions in reinforcements, interface conductance and optical properties will be pursued.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Novel oriented, non-woven fiber composite materials having tailored thermal, dielectric and mechanical properties will result. Potential applications exist for reinforced materials, non-reflective coatings, microchannel heat exchangers, high conductance ceramics, plasma-facing materials, radar absorbing materials, and carbon electrodes.
This project employs a state-of-the-art fabrication method "Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD)" to create single crystal layered structures of exotic materials (ferroelectrics and conductive oxide) on micromachined silicon with integrated silicon circuitry. These new fabrication methods and materials permit the construction of electronic devices and infrared (IR) detectors which are faster, more sensitive, and lower in cost than competing commercial technologies. The innovations of the program are: (1) advancing thin-film deposition technology to achieve fully epitaxial growth of ferroelectric films on silicon substrates, by using the highly successful pulsed laser deposition technique; (2) replacing the Pt bottom electrode with the epitaxial conductive oxide material, La0.5Sr0.5CoO3 (LSCO); (3) applying emerging thin-film technology to the fabrication and design of uncooled pyroelectric IR detectors, which are currently made only from bulk pyroelectric materials; (4) achieving exceptional thermal speed performance by using micromachined silicon wafers as substrates; and (5) achieving fully epitaxial pyroelectric IR detector arrays on Si, which can be monolithically integrated with Si integrated circuits (ICs). In Phase I, they successfully demonstrated the feasibility of the critical component for the multilayer technology. Heterostructures containing five epitaxial thin-film layers, i.e., LSCO / BaTiO3 / LSCO / YBa2Cu3O7-X / YSZ or LSCO / (Pb, Zr)TiO3 / LSCO / YBa2Cu3O7-X / YSZ, were deposited on Si(100) substrates by in situ Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD). They fabricated and tested an uncooled pyroelectric detector, based on the novel ferroelectric/conductive oxide heterostructures. The Phase I research laid down a solid foundation for Phase II. They anticipate that a prototype electronic device, the pyroelectric infrared detectors or detector arrays, will be developed by the end of the Phase II program. In Phase III, this prototype will be packaged and developed into a commercial product.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The development of high-performance, low-cost, uncooled IR detector arrays will address future markets in applications such as: infrared spectroscopy, gas analysis, fire detection, thermal imaging, drivers' aid, pollution monitoring, medical thermograph, missile guidance, night vision, target tracking systems, laser detection and range finders, airborne-spaceborne scanners, space-based astronomy, and IR research.
This project allows for the design and construction of an improved, optimized machine that will produce nanoparticles of alloys and dispersed phase composites using electrodes of inexpensive normal grain size materials, opposed electrodes of different materials, or braided wire electrodes. The feasibility of producing nanoparticles of iron and nickel aluminides as well as Ta, W, and W-2% ThO2 was demonstrated during Phase I by using equipment that was adapted based on pulsed reactive electrode (PRE) technology. The machine will have much greater control over the process parameters, and hence, the final size of the nanoparticles produced. A secondary objective of Phase II is to increase production rates from g/hr to kg/day, typically 5-10 Kgs of nanopowder per 8 hour shift, thus demonstrating a prototype production capability scalable to a full-size commercial process in Phase III. The redesigned machine will be used to produce intermetallic nanoscale powders such as a and g titanium aluminides and molybdenum di sulphide (MoSi2)æboth pure and in composite form with refractory metal (e.g., Nb, Ta) dispersed phases. The addition of reactive gases to the particle production process can cause formation of carbides, nitrides, and borides thus creating unique nanocomposites.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: A potentially large application area exists for MoSi2 based nanomaterials in the Kiln/incinerator/metallurgical furnace industries. A significant retrofit business has been identified for converting from direct fired rotary kilns and calciners to indirect fired systems. Additionally, automotive manufacturers such as GM and Ford are interested in connecting rods, hollow shafts, and fan blades from TiAl.
Work is continued on the development of practical polymeric photorefractive materials based on conjugated polymers for optical image processing. The research focuses on design, synthesis, and processing of conjugated polymer-based photorefractive materials with large optical nonlinearities, high photoconductivity and large charge carrier mobilities. The results obtained from the Phase I studies have successfully demonstrated that polythiophene-based conjugated polymers with nonlinear optical (NLO) functionalities can exhibit the photorefractive effect. Large two beam coupling (TBC) gain coefficient has been measured. Based on the Phase I effort, the Phase II research concentrates on the enhancement of the photorefractive properties of conjugated polymer-based materials. Several approaches are boosting up the electro-optic coefficients and the photoconductivity of the materials. In addition, the intrinsically large charge carrier mobilities in the conjugated polymers are expected to provide an edge over currently existing polymeric photorefractive materials. These conjugated materials are being characterized for their linear optical and NLO properties, photoconductivity, as well as the charge carrier mobility. TBC and degenerate four wave mixing (FWM) experiments are being carried out to study the photorefractive properties of the materials. These novel materials are expected to surpass the polymeric photorefractive materials so far reported both in speed and sensitivity. To demonstrate the application of the novel photorefractive materials for information storage and image processing, holographic image recording and retrieval experiments are being performed on these materials.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Development of practical polymeric photorefractive materials would yield an inexpensive and efficient holographic recording medium for waveguide photorefractive technologies, with applications in the areas of real-time image processing, high-density optical data storage, holographic optical interconnects, associative memories, phase conjugation, optical incoherent to coherent converters and beam steering. Also, such materials are suited for devices for industrial control and automation, based on real-time optical interferometry.
Topic 4-Mathematical Sciences
The project was developing practical, efficient, fast and accurate algorithms and software for imaging using Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) for both two- and three-dimensional applications in medicine and industry. EIT images the inside of an object by determining the spatial distribution of impedance. This is achieved by applying specified currents at their surface, and measuring the voltage induced. Compared to other imaging methods EIT promises significant advantages in economy, convenience, and safety for a wide variety of clinical and industrial applications. The chief stumbling block to making EIT more widely applicable is the lack of efficient algorithms that can perform accurate data inversion. Inversion algorithms used to date are based on either heuristic techniques of limited applicability, or on full numerical solution using Finite Elements. In Phase I of this research, the computationally efficient Boundary Element Method (BEM) was extended to EIT by using new algorithms that use dual reciprocity techniques. Further improvements in efficiency and accuracy were obtained by developing a new methodology for parametrizing the inverse problem. Phase I results clearly demonstrated the speed and accuracy advantages of EIT images obtained using the new algorithms. Phase II research puts on firmer grounds and further improves these algorithms. They are being specialized to particular applications, incorporate more efficient ways to perform the multiple parameter minimization, and account for available a priori information. The developed algorithms are being validated and refined by performing experiments. The software developed will be integrated into a user-friendly package.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: BEM software for Electrical Impedance Tomography will have a very large commercial market in medical imaging, two-phase flow imaging, and industrial nondestructive evaluation and testing. The developed software will be licensed to manufacturers of EIT systems, while EIT based multiphase flow instrumentation are being developed.
A 100 GHz integrated receiver for mm wave heterodyne detection is being developed. Millimeter wave receivers have direct application in radio astronomy, and may be used to construct multipixel mm wave imaging arrays. The receivers which will be developed in Phase II will use SIS junctions as the nonlinear mixing elements in combination with on chip local oscillators based on the ac Josephson effect. The advantages of such an arrangement include: (1) complete integration of all the elements required to produce a heterodyne receiver in a single compact circuit; (2) extremely low power dissipation of the local oscillator; (3) the ability to tune the local oscillator electrically, making the system frequency agile; (4) the possibility of attaining the quantum detection limit at mm wavelengths; and (5) easy fabrication of large mixer arrays for mm wave imaging applications. Research objectives include the development of a 100 GHz receiver design which can be extended to higher operating frequencies (500 GHz). It is anticipated that the noise temperature of the receivers will be better than 10 times the quantum limit.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Support under the NSF SBIR program will establish HYPRES as the first commercial source of monolithic SIS quasi-optical receivers. These elements are in demand for radio astronomy, as well as advanced radar and secure communications systems. They will find application in advanced far infrared spectrometers and mm wave imaging systems. A mm wave camera can be used to make images showing the presence in small amounts of all possible atmospheric pollutants. These capabilities have great commercial utility in both civilian and military applications.
Topic 6-Atmospheric Sciences
Recent concern over widespread global warming has highlighted the need for improved field instrumentation for measuring atmospheric long wave radiation. Although recently we have seen strong advances in remote sensing technology, certain radiation measurements can only be made from ground-based instruments. The program is aimed toward the development of new high precision, low cost instrumentation for scientific field experiments. Currently available infrared field instruments are fraught with technical problems and have not been updated in the past 25 years. The new instrumentation technology is based upon improvements to existing instruments and calibration techniques, as well as a unique new radiometer configuration. In Phase I several experiments demon-strated the thermal limitations of current devices in an attempt to gain a better theoretical understanding of the problem. The final mechanical and electronic design of the new instrument, including developing a calibration scheme is covered in Phase II.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: This research is aimed at the development of new infrared atmospheric long-wave commercial instrumentation. Precision infrared field instruments are used in long-term climate experiments, and these networks are often deployed on a large-scale basis over the globe. If the accuracy of the technology can be demonstrated in Phase II, several major field experiments will likely adopt them. There are also several industrial process applications where precise radiometric infrared measurements can reduce the cost of batch manufacturing of raw materials.
This project is to design, develop, construct and evaluate a prototype surface acoustic wave (SAW) dew point hygrometer that will be lower in cost and have several advantages over existing optical dew point instruments. The advantages include a cost of about half that of existing optical dew point hygrometers, higher resolution and accuracy, reduced sensitivity to contamination, frost point transition detection, and stability through the frost point. Cost and performance improvements in dew point instrumentation are important in the fields of atmospheric sciences, agriculture, and numerous industries. Four main objectives are planned for the Phase II work: (1) dew point measurement research which involves investigating the stability and robustness of the control algorithm for frost point measurements and during frost point transition, and the effects of SAW substrate microroughness and surface coatings on dew point measurement accuracy; (2) the design and construction of the prototype instrument which involves RF oscillator design, design of the microprocessor based control unit, and packaging of the prototype instrument; (3) testing, evaluation, and calibration of the prototype instrument; and (4) analysis of testing and evaluation. Corresponding design improve-ments will be made to the prototype based on this analysis. This work is expected to produce a prototype for manufacturing.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Low cost and accurate dew point hygrometers have many commercial applications. The need is especially strong in the areas of meteorology, climatology, agriculture and industries such as microelectronics, chemical, food, steel, and paper. For example, studies of atmospheric water vapor concen-trations and humidity content of industrial process gases.
This project is constructing and demonstrating an instrument for the detection of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), one of the most important components of nitrogen oxide species (NOy) in the troposphere. Direct measurements of NO2 are crucial for understanding the chemical processes that determine natural levels of tropospheric ozone and for assessing potential effects of human-influenced emissions. The difficulties associated with direct measurements of NO2 in the unpolluted troposphere arise from low (£100 pptv) concentrations and the potential for interferences from other more abundant nitrogen compounds. This project demonstrates a direct spectroscopic method using infrared absorption with a tunable diode laser light source which would directly detect absolute levels of NO2 in the clean troposphere. A key component of the research plan is the construction of a long path length, low volume absorption cell which would have sufficient length (~500 m) to provide adequate sensitivity and yet have a minimal volume (£10 liters) to enable rapid sampling and a minimal instrument response time. Modulation of the trace species at the cell inlet will allow real-time background subtraction to further increase the sensitivity. Automated signal processing using curve fitting to known spectral line parameters will provide absolute concentration levels without using calibration gases. The resulting instrument will have an NO2 detection limit of 4 ppt with a signal averaging time of 100 s.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The instrumentation resulting from this program will be useful for researchers in atmospheric chemistry for measuring concentrations of other trace gases in addition to NO2. The long path absorption cell would be marketable separately for incorporation into laser absorption systems for monitoring industrial pollutants, toxic wastes, and combustion emissions.
Topic 7-Earth Sciences
Many fundamental bulk properties of rock, such as permeability, electrical resistivity, and elastic constants are highly dependent on details of the pore structure. Attempts to infer properties such as permeability from measurements of electrical resistivity and acoustic velocities (common in borehole geophysics) require a thorough understanding of the inter-relationships between these and other bulk properties and the underlying pore structure which controls them. While a number of models have been developed which predict the inter-relationships between fundamental bulk properties and pore structure, validation and routine use of these models require a means of making a large number of diverse measurements on core in a routine fashion. Permeability and electrical resistivity are two of the most important properties for understanding pore structure. While laboratory measurement techniques for these properties are well developed, simultaneous measurement of permeability and electrical resistivity has been difficult to perform, inhibiting routine and integrated measurement. In addition, permeability measurement during sample deformation has been difficult for a number of reasons. The researchers apply newly developed methods for permeability measurement in order to construct an apparatus for routine and automated measurement of permeability, specific storage, electrical resistivity, and deformation. The apparatus and techniques developed are well suited for routine measurements as well as experimental studies of pore structure and its relationship to the fundamental bulk properties of rock.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Core properties measurement apparatus for simultaneous and quasi-continuous measurement of permeability, electrical resistivity, and deformation. The technique and equipment will be valuable for routine analysis of basic rock properties and inference of pore structure. Applications include well-log interpretation, interpretation of field-seismic, GPR interpretation, multiphase flow prediction, solute transport and dispersion.
This project continues development of a highly sensitive and portable vertical gravity gradiometer. This is based on using two GWR Superconducting Gravity Sensors (SGS) mounted with their sensitive axes co-linear and configured in a differencing signal mode. The SGS uses a 1/2" diameter niobium sphere levitated in a magnetic field produced by superconducting coils. The goal of this research is to shock harden the instruments during transport and field measurements. The technical approach uses a mechanical constraint and a clamp to immobilize the sphere. Investigations include: the engineering of small structures and specific materials to minimize mechanical creep, fatigue and hysteresis; and replacing the Nb sphere with Nb compounds to increase pinning forces of magnetic flux in the sphere's surface. Remote detection and characterization of underground targets is of great importance in environmental, geologic, mining, engineering, law enforcement, and strategic arms treaty applications. Using gravity gradients to determine underground density is a far superior technique than present day gravity techniques which are time consuming and expensive. The gravity gradiometer will make measurements more rapidly, will not require a precise elevation survey for interpretation, and will provide sharper resolution of underground density features.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The portable gravity gradiometer would have many engineering, environmental and military applications. Examples include: monitoring fluid leakage from waste storage areas or underground tanks into the soil; locating abandoned mine workings, natural voids, tunnels or underground bunkers: monitoring natural geologic hazards such as volcanoes; and reservoir monitoring of petroleum, gas, groundwater or geothermal.
This project introduces Scanning Tunneling Microscopes (STMs) into the first-year college curriculum in physics and chemistry. Phase I SBIR research at L3 Consulting resulted in a design which uses advanced electroceramic actuators, audio quality data converters, and a digital signal processor to produce a very inexpensive microscope. L3 also demonstrated how this microscope would enable students to image atomic steps at the surface of metals and semiconductors, examine integrated circuits or compact discs with resolution below the diffraction limit of optical microscopes, and otherwise explore physical phenomena at the nanometer scale. Continuing efforts in Phase II include developing prototypes of the instrument and of accompanying laboratory exercises, testing these prototypes with college students in regular classes, and evaluating the impact of these new tools on students' interest in and understanding of the physical sciences. The courseware emphasizes the relationship between microscopic features of materials and their macroscopic properties. It encourages students to inquire how the abstract fundamental concepts stressed in introductory courses can be applied to explain the behavior of real-world materials and devices. Students will gain valuable technical skills while learning how to operate these microscopes, how to interpret the images they obtain, and how to extrapolate from those images. College and university faculty can present STMs as examples of modern research instruments and can use STM-based labs to expand their coverage of contemporary physics and chemistry.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Successful Phase II research will lead to a refined design for a microscope/courseware package suitable for commercial production and distribution. The primary target market for the product is formed by large introductory classes in physics and chemistry which are taken by students of engineering, medicine and the allied health professions, education, and architecture, as well as by future scientists. Derivative products might be suitable at other educational levels, or for industrial use.
In Phase I, a concept was defined for a novel laser-pumped helium 4 magnetometer. The magnetometer employs a dual mode of operation (vector/scalar) to measure both the magnitude and direction of the geomagnetic field. The key technical component is a patented tunable diode laser (TDL) pumping source. The feasibility of measuring scalar fields with a resolution of 0.3 pT/÷Hz, an order of magnitude better than conventional resonance magnetometers, was demonstrated with a laboratory breadboard. The concept of an omnidirectional single cell, single beam sensor was also demonstrated. A concept was also developed for extracting three-axis vector information from the single cell sensor. Phase I results are being used to design, fabricate, demonstrate and characterize a prototype portable Geomagnetic Vector Scalar Magnetometer (GVSM) including the sensor and electronics modules for high-resolution scalar mode and three-axis vector mode in Phase II.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The GVSM instrument will be the first portable resonance magnetometer to provide vector components and high-resolution scalar field information. It will be state-of-the-art instrumentation for geomagnetic research and exploration. GVSM instrument would also find application in undersea surveillance, anti-shoplifting surveillance, mine countermeasures and planetary and space magnetic surveys.
Topic 8-Ocean Sciences
This project focuses on developing technology for the selective breeding of marine shrimp. At present there are more than 2.8 million acres of shrimp farms in production. Shrimp farmed are principally non-selected wild stocks or are produced from unselected farm reared broodstock. Virtually no work has been done to selectively breed shrimp for improved performance in farming environments. If shrimp can be bred for enhanced survival, faster growth, or improved feed conversion, the profitability of farming will be improved. Penaeus vannamei, the principal species raised in the Western Hemisphere, has been selected for the program. The Phase I research objectives were to obtain and identify stocks that could be used in the breeding program. Work completed in the Phase I research identified 16 unique base sequences in one gene that can be used as markers to unambiguously identify the stocks for the breeding program. The overall objective of the Phase II research is to establish populations that are homozygous for alleles that can be used to conclusively identify family lines for the purpose of genetic selection and production of stocks for sale. The activities include: developing nucleotide probes that can be used to screen individual shrimp for the base sequences that identify a particular allele; identifying individual shrimp that carry each of the unique base sequences; raising individual shrimp to sexual maturity; breeding to establish populations that are homozygous for the identified sequences; and conducting comparative evaluations of performance in production environments.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: This research may develop a technical basis for the domestication of Penaeid shrimp, provide a basis for more profitable shrimp farming in the United States, and result in a substantial export business for shrimp seedstock.
Topic 10-Integrative Biology and Neuroscience
This project expands on the Phase I demonstration that formulations containing 4-aminobutyric acid (GABA) increase plant growth and reduce plants' fertilizer requirements. There are growing concerns with both providing enough food to feed the world's growing population and problems of nitrogen pollution caused by overuse of nitrogen fertilizers. This has created opportunities for products to increase fertilizer efficiency while either maintaining or increasing crop productivity. Auxein Corp. has developed proprietary formulations that have significantly increased production in diverse plants such as turf grass, bush beans and cherries, and reduced the levels of fertilizer needed to give optimal productivity. Mineral analysis of treated plants has shown an increase in the content of the macronutrients needed for plant growth with the most consistent increase shown in tissue potassium content. In treated rye grass and duckweed, levels of potassium increased more than 200%. The correlation between GABA-mediated increases in plant growth and increases in tissue potassium content led to a working hypothesis that GABA bioactivity in plants is similar to its mechanism of action in animals, where it is known to affect transport of calcium and potassium. The research objectives of Phase II are designed to develop a product formulation suitable for commercial application and establish the efficacy of the company's formulations in field tests, emphasizing target crops where both increased yield and quality through improved potassium nutrition would be of benefit. Another objective is to quantify the savings in fertilizer requirements that can be achieved in the field.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The results of Phase II research are expected to establish the efficacy of the company's formulations for increasing plant growth and productivity and reducing plants fertilizer requirements, and to demonstrate their commercial utility. The company estimates the total U.S. market opportunity for such products to be approximately $3.0 billion, and Auxein's goal is to achieve $200 MM in product sales within five years of product introduction. The product value will be further increased if use results in a mitigation of nitrogen pollution and if GABA functions in plants by increasing mineral availability, thereby improving crop quality.
Topic 12-Environmental Biology
This project is designing and installing several prototype, earthquake damage instrumentation systems (based on a new technology for non-destructive evaluation) into private and commercial structures. Strain Monitor Systems, Inc. (SMS) is developing a unique, patented technology for the safety and damage assessment of materials. In Phase I, prototype sensors were constructed and tested in the laboratory for their effectiveness at discerning seismically-induced peak strains and deflections. The results have shown that the technology will provide a simple, inexpensive approach for safety monitoring. Phase II is expanding the research to include the complete installation and operation of systems in several different types of structures. Systems are being designed and installed into: (1) several private residences, (2) the Marin County, CA Civic Center, Hall of Justice building, and (3) three highway bridges in California. The system will be able to monitor the sensors on demand, either automatically or manually, and they will be used as evaluation platforms from which to demonstrate the technology.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The technology provides a simple, reliable, and inexpensive means of assessing earthquake damage. The ability to quickly and quantitatively discern the level of damage (and the potential for failure during an aftershock) within a structure has good commercial potential. Such information will reduce repair costs to a damaged structure, as well as provide a means for the quick and accurate determination of a structure's safety.
This project is designing, building, and field testing a Robotic Observation Microscope (ROM) System able to: (1) gather, name, and store the root images in digital format in the field; (2) return to each location within ± 0.lmm for rapid comparison of images with no loss of data because edges do not match; (3) interact with the field operator for quality verification of data, and allow operator to input comments and add data, while a program handles all normal repetitive tasks, asking only for approval to proceed to the next step; (4) easily reprogram index depth intervals, sample points, magnification, and other research project features, to fit the future needs of different scientists; (5) automatically transfer images from the field system to the lab database, and backup archive storage system; (6) provide easy location-indexed, then time-indexed, retrieval of all images; and (7) be purchased for less than $25,000 total system price. These developments would save 30% to 50% of the time presently required for Minirhizotron research and add new observational capabilities.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Root research is conducted to study root growth, to breed drought resistance of food crops, to study root response to soil conditions and contamination, and for research on disease mechanisms. Improving food production is of major importance in the United States and it is a matter of survival in many third world countries. This method of root study is the primary accepted non-destructive approach around the world. Bartz Technology Co. is the leader in development of this method, and manufactures the equipment for export worldwide. There are about 100 manual systems in use now.
Based on the results of Phase I research, it now appears fairly certain that a yet uncharacterized saccharide, designated as lathyrose, that occurs on the surfaces of a high percentage of hemocytes of oysters, Crassostrea virginica, from certain areas along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and along the Gulf of Mexico coast, may serve as a molecular marker for innate resistance to Haplosporidium nelsoni (MSX). Lathyrose-positive hemocytes will agglutinate when presented with the Lathyrose odoratus lectin. The researchers are surveying for the presence of lathyrose in large samples of oysters (>400) from Maine to the Gulf coast. This survey is essential to be absolutely certain that there is a high degree of correlation between the occurrence of lathyrose and absence of MSX. The success of this venture is totally dependent on this phenomenon, hence this objective. Also, trays of lathyrose-positive oysters will be transplanted to Inlet Creek, Sullivan's Island, Charleston County, South Carolina, where ±28% of the native oysters harbor MSX. This will be done to field test the resistance of lathyrose-positive oysters to MSX. They are also making genetic crosses to develop strains of lathyrose-positive oysters resistant to MSX; and developing (and eventually marketing) a simple diagnostic kit to identify oysters resistant to MSX.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Potential commercial applications include the development and sale of oysters resistant to MSX, and to develop and market a diagnostic kit that will permit the identification of subpopulations and populations of oysters resistant to MSX.
In Phase I, nine microsatellite loci were isolated from hyacinth macaws. These loci were used for DNA fingerprinting of individual hyacinth macaws and pedigrees. These loci were also found to work in six other macaw species. In Phase II, the system will be expanded to include six species from the other major groups of psittacine birds: cockatoos, Old World Parrots, and New World Parrots. A prototype automated microsatellite genotyping system will be developed for commercial applications. Using new molecular cloning methods, developed in Phase I, the researchers will isolate and characterize 6-10 microsatellite loci in each of the six new species. They will develop protocols for multiplex PCR reactions and analysis of multiple loci in a single lane of an electrophoretic gel on an automated DNA sequencer. The genotype data will be linked directly from the laboratory system to a computerized database. A complete, efficient, and cost-effective system for producing a multilocus genotype suitable for individual identity and pedigree analysis for most species of psittacines will be the result of these efforts.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: There is a large existing market for genotyping services in parrots and many other species including livestock, pets, laboratory animals, and wild populations. This market is expected to grow substantially for parrots as the Wild Bird Conservation Act is enforced and positive identity of legally-owned birds is required. As modern, cost-effective systems, such as that to be developed in this study become available, the market for genotyping other species will grow rapidly.
Topic 13-Biological Instrumentation and Resources
Fisheries have become an increasingly more significant food source. Currently, 30% of the protein consumed by Americans comes from the sea and this percentage is growing. Over the past decade the fisheries have experienced more regulation because of bycatch, overcapitalization, and marine mammal endangerment. Because of increased regulation, the scrutiny on commercial fishing and fisheries management has become intense. As a result of these changes, techniques that can automatically and non-intrusively detect, classify, and quantify fish populations are of interest to all segments of the fisheries. This project applies defense technologies to the automatic identification of fish to species using broadband acoustics, spectral decomposition of returns, and nonlinear fuzzy neural network classifiers. During Phase I, preliminary results using freshwater narrowband data demonstrate over 90% correct classification of fish to species. A system design for the marine environment has been defined that will utilize broadband acoustics, an extension that further improve classification performance. During Phase II, Scientific Fishery Systems, Inc. (SFS) will build an engineering prototype of the broadband fish identification system and demonstrate its ability to classify fish in a marine environment. SFS is providing $356,900 in Phase II co-funding for this effort.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Scientific Fishery Systems, Inc. has completed a preliminary business plan that describes how the technology developed during Phase I and Phase II will be commercialized. This plan includes a product description, market analysis, projected sales, and a management plan. The projected U.S. sales for this fisheries product, with 7.5% market penetration by 2000, is over $85 million. World sales projections, with 1% market penetration by 2005, will triple this amount.
The aim of this project is to develop a prototype instrument which combines pulsed-laser photo-acoustic detection with optical measurements of fluorescence to determine fluorescence quantum yields. The instrument will be more accurate, easier to operate, and less expensive than existing methods for measuring quantum yields. In addition, this photo-acoustic method will become a powerful tool for elucidating the photophysics of fluorescent and nonfluorescent chromophores. It will measure photo-induced molecular volume changes and provide important information of the disposition of electronic excited state energies into various pathways, including intersystem crossing, electron ejection, and other excited state reactions. Quantum Northwest is designing and building a sophisticated prototype and testing it by measuring quantum yields of several dyes with different spectral properties. They are also examining photo-induced molecular volume changes in a series of common laser dyes with the intention of developing a molecular volume standard. A relatively complex fluorescent, photochemical molecule, pyranine, is being analyzed for all aspects of its photophysics and photochemistry. Finally, they are examining the photophysics of chromophores bound to proteins.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The instrument will become an important analytical tool providing quantitative information on molecular excited states for all those laboratories that make serious use of fluorescing chromophores as probes.
Investigated is a non-invasive, real-time, high resolution device for the eventual measurement of enzyme levels, metabolite concentrations or other critical molecules in single biological cells. This unique device is based on stimulated Raman scattering and can simultaneously measure the concentrations and temporal evolution of several different molecular species. Laser induced fluorescence (LIF) can sometimes be used as a diagnostic device in biology and medicine. In general, LIF has difficulties in relating the fluorescence spectra to the concentration of the emitters within the tissue, in identifying different species, and in the possibility of destroying the molecules being probed if the wrong excitation wavelength is chosen. Many of the problems associated with fluorescence can be eliminated by the use of Raman scattering. Raman techniques allow the measurement of multiple species even in aqueous solutions (not accessible by infrared methods because of water absorption). However, spontaneous Raman techniques give very weak signals. Signal enhancement is possible by utilizing resonance Raman techniques. Both of these methods still suffer from the fact that spatial and, to some extent, temporal information is lost.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: This method can be used for the continuous measurement of several molecular concentrations in small samples. Therefore, it may have applications in the medical field (virus and cholesterol measurements), in drug manufacturing and monitoring, and blood gas analysis. Furthermore, it may find applications in environment related monitoring and analysis.
Topic 14-Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research
Addressed is the research and development of a prototype decision support system (DSS) for fire protection and emergency medical services (EMS). Currently, most fire and EMS agencies resort to manual planning techniques in the development of deployment strategies, leading to the probability of inefficient resource deployment. To address this situation, the DSS will support optimization routines for the design of efficient deployment strategies, including station/vehicle location models, crew scheduling models, and dynamic vehicle move-up models. In addition, the DSS will provide a simulation model to allow for the evaluation of alternative deployment strategies prior to actual implementation. To insure the accuracy of the optimization and simulation routines, the DSS will include a sophisticated point-to-point travel time estimation model that incorporates a variety of geographic, temporal, and response-specific factors. Each of the models will be based on the specific planning needs encountered at various fire and EMS agencies visited during the Phase I research study. The models are being constructed in a generalized format and equipped with a variety of customizable elements in order that they may be tailored to the individual needs of different agencies. The DSS will also include data communication protocols for transferring planning-related data from existing sources, including computer-aided dispatching (CAD) systems and geographical information systems (GIS), along with a sophisticated, intuitive graphical user interface. Use of the DSS will result in efficient resource deployment strategies, leading to significant cost savings and/or improved levels of service.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The principal commercial application of this research will be an Emergency Services DSS for use in medium- and large-sized fire departments and EMS agencies/companies facing planning problems of significant scope and complexity. Within the U.S. alone, there are more than 4,600 fire departments and more than 1,800 EMS agencies serving populations in excess of 25,000.
Research to develop and evaluate an innovative software tool to help experts express their uncertain knowledge in the form of probability distributions is described. Builders and users of quantitative models are increasingly recognizing the need for a such a tool that is easy to use and produces reliable results. In Phase I Lumina developed and experimentally established the practicality of two innovative methods: (1) animated density functions; and (2) verbal probability phrases, such as probable or very seldom. Lumina is refining a prototype tool for probability assessment, providing these two and six other assessment methods with associated calibration and debiasing techniques. They will evaluate these methods experimentally to measure ease of learning and use, effort required, confidence in results, and reliability and calibration of the resulting distributions. These results will be used to guide users in choosing the most cost-effective methods to suit their needs and skills. Lumina will also integrate into the package, methods to assess multivariate distributions, and multimedia courseware on probability assessment.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The expression of expert judgment in the form of subjective probability distributions is becoming accepted for risk analysis wherever uncertainty is critical, including finance, oil and gas exploration, risks to the environment, medical diagnosis, and bidding decisions.
This project implements and field tests a commercially viable software product entitled The Fisherman's Associate. The Fisherman's Associate is a Geographic Information System (GIS) that integrates all of the available data within a given fishing region. Windows-based software is being used to create, analyze, manipulate, print, and store maps. The resulting maps will be used by fishermen to determine which areas are the best to fish during a specific time of the year. By employing The Fisherman's Associate, it will be possible for a commercial fishermen and fisheries managers to reduce bycatch, increase target catch, decrease operational costs, and maximize his or her profit. An inherent benefit of The Fisherman's Associate is the complete utilization of data collected by survey organizations such as the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the National Oceanographic Data Center. Also during Phase II, an automatic model generation capability will be developed and integrated into The Fisherman's Associate. The inclusion of automatic model generation will broaden the appeal of this product and will lure fisheries managers to utilize this system as well. SFS will be working with two fishing groups during the development and field tests of The Fisherman's Associate. The first group, the F/V Lady Simpson, has agreed to provide data and test the system for longline halibut fishing in the Gulf of Alaska and king crab and opilio crab fishing in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands. The second fishing group is Tyson Seafood Group. Tyson has agreed to provide data, assist in the development, and provide testing for their fleet of 30 trawlers that fish for cod, pollock, and sole in the Bering Sea.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Commercial potential for this product is excellent. The preliminary market analysis has been completed for this product. Estimated sales by 2000 is $12.5 M with a cumulative profit of $10.3 M.
This project addresses the demand for high quality, innovative, educational software capable of dramatically increasing both the motivation to learn about mathematics and the depth of mathematics learning, in children. Phase I results indicated that the development of such software is technically feasible, and that both teachers' and children's ratings of the prototype materials developed compared very favorably with current offerings in this market. In addition, the results suggested that the present design approach may have special appeal to girls. The objective of the Phase II effort to leverage the Phase I results obtained and to continue the development of a multifaceted educational software product that teaches children mathematics in context. As such, the research in Phase II is devoted to the further development of the Phase I conceptual prototype into a complete software prototype, which can then be more fully evaluated by educators and students. It is expected that the effort will further support the highly successful preliminary results from the Phase I research and will, therefore, yield promising approaches for the creation of commercially-viable educational software products for the teaching of mathematics. Further, it is expected that the design techniques developed in this effort can potentially be leveraged for the design and development of educational software products for other domains as well.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The research will further understanding of effective designs for educational software for mathematics learning. Commercialization of the designs into innovative education software offerings can address the demand for educational software in the home, anticipated to be a $1 billion market by the end of the decade, and may prove of special appeal to girls, a largely untapped half of this market.
Topic 15-Advanced Scientific Computing
This project will develop an efficient Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software package which uses hybrid structured-unstructured grids to minimize the grid generation effort, and massively parallel processing (MPP) computers to minimize run time. The recent emergence of high performance MPP computers has theoretically reduced the computer time required for the design and analysis of systems involving fluid flow using CFD. However, in practice, algorithms used in MPP today were developed for sequential computers, and therefore, do not harness the full power of massively parallel processing. Also, MPP computers have not simplified the structured grid generation process, which may take weeks for complex configurations. During Phase I, an efficient, implicit finite-volume method was developed for solving the 2-D Navier-Stokes equations on MPP computers using hybrid structured-unstructured grids and domain decomposition. The structured grids are used to resolve boundary layers near walls and unstructured grids are used to discretize the remainder of the flow field. During Phase II, the algorithm is being extended to 3-D, the domain decomposition will be expanded and improved, and quasi-dynamic load balancing will be added. Also, the potential market will be broadened by adding incompressible flow capability, the ability to run in parallel on networks of engineering workstations, and an interactive MOTIF user interface which will make the parallelism nearly transparent to the users.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The projected solution algorithm has the potential to dramatically reduce the time required to perform a CFD analysis. The use of hybrid grids will simplify the grid generation process for practical (complex) geometries and the use of MPP computers will reduce the run time. The resulting analysis package will be marketable to the aerospace industry and other industries.
The rapid development of computer hardware, especially superworkstations and parallel supercomputers, coupled with advances in numerical and physical modeling of fluid dynamics have opened new opportunities for working engineers and scientists to use flow simulations for analysis and design in areas previously only amenable to costly, time-consuming experimental laboratory exploration. The major goal of the Phase II effort is the development of a scalable, parallel FLUENT-compatible code for realistic time-dependent laminar and turbulent problems. Phase I work demonstrated the significant potential of a new code for general-purpose fluid dynamics computations on parallel computers, with order-of-magnitude speedups over presently available commercial codes achieved even on moderate problems. The results of the Phase I work provided a strong basis for continuing this work into Phases II/III. The specific research issues addressed in Phase II include: (1) implementation, parallelization, and testing of algebraic multigrid acceleration for the pressure solve, as well as further study of other non-symmetric solver technologies; (2) introduction of enhanced coordinate systems capability; (3) enhancement of ZFLOW to handle turbulent heat transfer; and (4) implementation, parallelization, and testing of parallel block-unstructured techniques which potentially lead to order-of-magnitude increases in maximum treatable problem sizes.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Commercial CFD users increasingly require problem solutions involving significant three-dimensional complexity and/or time-dependence. These solutions demand the use of advanced parallel supercomputers. This work provides a unique opportunity to integrate advanced CFD and parallel computer technologies into a highly practical software product that will quickly address this need. Through a partnership with Fluent, Inc., developer and marketer of the widely used FLUENT code, Cambridge Hydrodynamics expects that this new technology will have a significant impact on the commercial CFD market.
Topic 17-Networking and Communications Research and Infrastructure
This project is aimed at the design, integration and test of a complete system for transporting point-to-multipoint (i.e., one sender, multiple destinations) compressed video streams over traditional computer networks, both in the LAN and in the WAN environments. The advent of MPEG compression has made it possible to encode high-quality video using relatively low bandwidth. This makes it possible to transport video using traditional LAN and WAN technologies. From a transmission technology point of view, the main problems to be solved are error control and latency for interactive applications. This project investigates the use of Forward Error Correction (FEC) for error control, and changes in the MPEG encoding scheme to reduce latency. FEC has been chosen because it is scalable to an arbitrary number of destinations, and has little impact in the system latency. Additionally, error concealment techniques are being investigated for occasions where there are uncorrected errors. Session layer protocols and user-interface issues are also being considered, to complete the system design.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Commercial applications of this research include video distribution (replacing analog channels), remote teaching, remote surveillance and video conferencing, both in the LAN and in the WAN environments.
This project investigates a channel hopping mobile database station for use on cellular radio networks. Because voice cellular radio systems must maintain low blocking probabilities, more than 20% of cellular channel capacity is unused, even during the busy hour. A packet radio system can capture this unused capacity by hopping between idle voice channels, working independently of the voice base station and the cellular telephone switch. To optimize performance, the mobile database station should select the idle channel with the least co-channel interference. By doing so, the base station will maximize the carrier-to-interference ratio at the mobile terminal and maximize throughput when automatic repeat-request protocols are used. For example, if the offered voice traffic at an 18-channel sector is 9 Erlangs, the database station can achieve a throughput improvement of 42% and a coverage area increase of 28%. This study extends the Phase I research by collecting interference data from an actual cellular radio system and testing new hopping algorithms against this data. The data will also be used to develop better models of the cellular voice multiple access system and co-channel interference. If successful, the project will result in a working prototype of a smart channel hopping radio receiver and controller that will substantially increase the throughput and geographical coverage of the Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) system.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The principal commercial applications of this research are wireless multiple access communication networks, including cellular radio, mobile satellite, and wireless local area networks. The primary benefit of the research is more economical use of packet radio base stations, resulting in more affordable mobile data service for the U.S. consumer.
Network event correlation's goal is to identify a networked system's problems before they disrupt applications. Current approaches to automating event correlation are slow, sensitive to noise in their data, and cannot dynamically adapt to a networked system's topology changes. The Codebook approach uses coding theory as the base of a novel correlation process that is high speed, robust to noise, and dynamically adapts to system changes. The key idea is that since problems are characterized by the symptoms they cause, it suffices to monitor the minimal set of symptoms that uniquely identify ("encode") the problems of interest. Real-time correlation processing is thus reduced to a fast process of minimal distance "decoding" of symptoms. Symptoms can be added to make codes "error-correcting," for robustness with respect to noise in the event stream. For Codebook Correlation to support practical automated management solutions, several open issues must be addressed: developing algorithms for incremental codebook computation to address networks whose topology changes rapidly; refining the decoding process to distinguish multiple concurrent problems from problems whose codes are the union of other codes; dealing with various timing issues; and developing parallel distributed correlation schemes that scale to real-world enterprise networks. In this Phase II project, the researchers are developing a realistic event correlation system testbed for a complex enterprise network, and investigating, implementing, and evaluating solutions to the above open issues in the context of this testbed.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The commercial applications are: (1) automated problem management products for enterprise networks, reducing exposure of mission critical applications to network down time; (2) automated network management solutions for network service providers, increasing quality of service while reducing operations costs; and (3) self-healing network, system and application components.
Topic 19-Information, Robotics, and Intelligent Systems
The aim of this research to develop a holographic desktop printer to provide three-dimensional hardcopy output for computers and digital imaging systems. The technology is based on a method of representing a three-dimensional image as an array of holographic pixels which are recorded sequentially with exposure times of approximately 100 nanoseconds using a compact diode laser and a special silver halide film whose spectral sensitivity is peaked at the diode laser wavelength of 652 nm. Research objectives in the Phase II effort are to develop and demonstrate a prototype holographic printer.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The anticipated result of the research is a demonstration of the practical realizability of a holographic printer. Potential commercial applications of the technology abound: medical imaging, architectural graphics, CAD/CAM peripherals, security/identification cards and labels, and integration of holography into mainstream printing technology.
This project will develop a new imaging technology called nonfrontal imaging. The core of this new approach is active control of imaging geometry to eliminate the mechanical adjustment of sensor plane location usually required for focusing, and exploit imaging geometry and optics to achieve focusing from camera's panning motion alone. This not only results in high imaging speeds but also in seamless panoramic images. A nonfrontal imaging camera can obtain a panoramic focused image of all objects in an arbitrarily large scene regardless of their locations, which is in registration with a range map acquired in parallel. Development of algorithms and the building of a working prototype are projected which will have the following capabilities: panoramic focused image acquisition, panoramic range image acquisition, and omnifocused 3-D stereo display. All these capabilities will be achieved at multiple resolutions and for up to 360o views of the scene. Sensor surface orientation will be controlled in a dynamic, data-driven mode. The prototype will be tested primarily in applications involving photography and surveillance, and to a lesser extent surgery and manufacturing. The system development will be done in consultation with industry. It is expected that the resulting technology will introduce hitherto unavailable capabilities as well as lead to significant strides in existing capabilities. A U.S. patent on the camera has been awarded, and foreign patents have been filed.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Commercial applications are in wide-scene studio photography; outdoor nature photography; endoscopic and neurosurgery; television broadcasting; geometric modeling for computer aided manufacturing; surveillance of homes, stores and compounds; virtual reality using omnifocused 3-D display; advertising; visual art; monitoring and control of hazardous environments; visualization; and interactive video games.
This project is aimed at the creation of a clinically-viable case-based Radiation Therapy Planning Assistant, and a tool for constructing other case-based intelligent assistants for medical tasks. The key innovations are the ability of the tool to reason about medical images and to develop its initial case base from existing archives of medical data, both textual and multimedia. The direct benefits of this project are to improve the quality and consistency of radiation therapy planning. Because previous cases can be used as a guide, less-experienced dosimetrists can profit from expert's experience directly. Further, the development of a generalized tool based on Roentgen has the potential to extend such benefits to other areas of medicine. There are other approaches to building intelligent medical advisory systems, most notably, those approaches based on expert-systems technology. However, these systems cannot take advantage of existing medical archives as Roentgen does and have a significantly higher development and maintenance cost. The project is proceeding along two fronts. First is the further development and clinical evaluation of the existing Roentgen radiation therapy system. By the end of Phase II, CaseBased Systems will have tested this system in a clinical setting and will have developed a personal computer-based version of it. The second direction of development is to generalize the techniques of Roentgen into a case-based reasoning shell. Such a tool will make it build to construct many other case-based assistants similar to Roentgen for other medical domains, particularly those that require visual reasoning.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The commercial potential of Roentgen and related tools lies in their ability to make intelligent use of data already being collected through hospital information systems and medical imagery. These systems turn inert data into a type of institutional memory that can contribute to new patient treatment. The work required to turn Roentgen into a viable commercial product has begun. Talks with Varian Associates concerning the integration of Roentgen with their work on information management for RT planning has also begun.
The goal of this project is to design and prototype a dexterous robotic manipulator for minimally invasive surgery. The robotic manipulator will provide surgeons with a new and more dexterous tool for performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: These manipulators will have a wide variety of applications in minimally invasive surgery, including suturing, dissection and retraction, and in procedures such as removal of gall bladder and bowel resection.
This project focuses concurrently on developing: (1) Visual Performance Instruments (VPls) that enable the deaf and hard-of-hearing to perform in a medium that serves as a visual analog of music; (2) algorithms to process digitally sampled acoustic music and cause VPIs to dance in accompaniment; and (3) closely related science museum and commercial advertising displays that utilize the same underlying hardware and software control environments. TechnoFrolics Phase II objectives include: (1) the creation of a working prototype for a new VPI called the Tower of Triangles (TOT). TOT is made out of mirrored triangular columns which function as linear torsional wave-mediums for small excitation energies and chaotic systems for high-excitation energies, and may be "played" in real-time via a computer-mediated user interface; (2) adding the ability, in an existing performance artwork constructed out of iron dust in a computer controlled electromagnetic field, to dance automatically in response to music. The Phase II tasks for implementing this system include the further development of an algorithm for extracting rhythmic information from music in real-time, and software physics simulations whose initial conditions and evolution parameters are modified in real-time by data extracted from the music; and (3) the creation of a set of computer-controlled product animation platforms to animate in sophisticated and complex ways, retail point-of-purchase products, and trade-show exhibit items.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Commercial applications of the science/artworks, VPIs and automatic music response control software include: VPls for the deaf, responsive dancing corporate logos for trade-show, retail store, and nightclub environments; interactive science museum exhibits on wave mediums and chaotic systems; and kinetic signs for commercial use, an interactive option for TechnoFrolics' coin-operated dancing artwork displays.
This project is developing a novel OCR reader within the framework of an integrated technology aimed at providing ordinary people with the means to interact with computers in a more natural and productive way. For example, at a typical meeting, people write notes, speak to each other, and show graphs, figures, and pictures. That's the natural way people work together. Rather than forcing people to adapt to computers, computers should be "smart" enough to deal with people on their own terms. The technologies required to make this possible include online handwriting recognition, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), image processing, speech recognition, and the methodology for handling interactions between input modalities. This Phase II work takes a first important step in this direction-bringing online handwriting recognition and OCR into a common algorithmic framework. If successful, this technology will have three significant benefits: (1) It will be an important step towards making it possible for people to interact with computers in a more natural way. (2) It will improve the state of the art of handwritten OCR readers. (3) It will result in efficient new commercial products. Recently, the U.S. Post Office, a major user of advanced OCR systems, stated that "as significant advancements in OCR technology are needed to bring the read rate (of handwriting) to the desired level, innovative approaches are sought to achieve those advancements." CIC expects the Phase II work, based upon techniques proven to be successful for its online recognition products, will advance the state of the art in handwritten OCR. From a commercial standpoint, a product combining OCR and online handwriting recognition in a common framework with shared resources will be smaller, more efficient, less costly, and easier to maintain than two separate products.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: CIC believes that improved user-interfaces and OCR performance are of significant interest to major computer manufacturers because they will lead to increased hardware sales and new software products. CIC is in a unique position to obtain Phase III funding because it already has license agreements and alliances with companies whose combined market share is more than 40% of the worldwide PC market and 70% of the Japanese PC market.
Topic 20-Electrical and Communications Systems
This project is designed to produce a narrowband, widely tunable infrared light source of wavelengths in the 3 mm to 12 mm wavelength region. This spectral region is devoid of a powerful, broadly tunable commercial laser light source, even though it is a region rich in the molecular signatures of species important in environmental and basic research studies. In Phase I it was shown that it was possible to make a narrowband, widely tunable optical parametric oscillator, (OPO), based on zinc germanium diphosphide, ZnGeP2. The goal of Phase II is to construct a prototype source with higher power, narrower bandwidth, and wider wavelength tunability. Increased power involves improvement in coatings, more efficient extraction of energy from the OPO, and amplification in an optical parametric amplifier (OPA). Producing a narrower linewidth from the OPO involves optimization of the cavity parameters and using a narrower linewidth pump. Longer wavelengths will be generated by alteration of the oscillator parameters and by regeneration of the "idler" wavelengths in an (OPA). In addition to the bandwidth and wavelength of the generated beam, the divergence will be characterized. Attention also will be directed to the pump laser requirements of a practical OPO/OPA system. It is expected that the Phase II work will result in a prototype system that generates energies of a few millijoules per pulse of tunable long wave infrared light in a low divergence beam with a narrow spectral bandwidth.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Tunable laser radiation in the 3-12 mm spectral range is particularly useful for environmental studies and atmospheric remote sensing for mobile LIDAR systems for meteorology measurements, environmental studies, and air pollution monitoring, and for fundamental chemical investigation.
Topic 21-Design, Manufacture, and Industrial Innovation
The purpose of this project is to develop a compact, high-gradient electron linear accelerator as an injector to a multiport, high production rate, x-ray synchrotron radiation storage ring. This will be a source for an x-ray chip lithography or MEMS manufacturing machine to meet the industry demand in a production environment for future computer chips or microelectromechanical products. In particular, a full-energy injection scheme using a compact injector linac to increase the stored current in a superconducting ring is being studied. This will increase the x-ray production rate and, hence, the throughput for these applications, thus lowering the unit production cost and sharpening the competitive edge for manufacturers. The full-energy, X-band injector is expected to enable the x-ray intensity to double, while shortening the footprint by half, compared to the low-energy S-band injector for the Helios 1 x-ray synchrotron storage ring currently in operation at IBM's East Fishkill facilities.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Explosive growth in future high-density computer chips will require a new generation of high-production-rate, x-ray machines for lithography of feature size finer than 0.15mm. Targeted for the full production environment expected to begin at the turn of the century, the machine will increase the availability and productivity for industry. The system can also be easily upgraded to higher injection energy to produce x-rays for microfabrication (MEMS), a breakthrough technology with many exciting commercial applications.
Topic 22-Chemical and Transport Systems
This project investigates a novel, multiphase mixing technique for combining and dispensing foamable compositions (such as polyurethane foams). Dispensers for foam ingredients are unreliable because the reactive ingredients must be thoroughly mixed inside the dispenser. Solids form inside the dispenser, eventually causing failure. The opportunity is to investigate a dispensing method that dramatically increases reliability, reduces costs, and produces high-quality foam. In this novel method, the foam ingredients are pre-treated to form "froths" prior to mixing. Mixing improves dramatically, and the dispensers can be made much more simple and reliable. The objective of the Phase II research is to understand and characterize basic phenomena to enable the design of an economical dispenser based on froth mixing. Specifically, the researchers will focus on good foam quality, commercially useful, reliable operation, and simple processes for commercial applications. They will investigate: (1) methods to produce the proper multiphase mixing conditions; (2) methods to accomplish multiphase mixing; and (3) optimal foam quality as a function of mixing parameters. Results of the research will be data and analysis methods for the design of economical and reliable foam dispensers.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Research results from Phase II are key to developing reliable foam dispensers to produce high-quality foams for packaging, insulation, structures, and textiles. The froth mixing process is novel, conceptually simple, reliable, easy-to-scale, and makes efficient use of foam reagents.
Topic 23-Civil and Mechanical Systems
This project will result in a new method for detecting and classifying acoustic emissions (AE) resulting from crack growth in complex metal structures. To perform this research, Martingale Research will use a prototype acoustic emission sensor-processor system to collect AE data in situ from an internal support structure of a flight training aircraft in the vicinity of the vertical stabilizer where fatigue cracking is a known problem. This innovation, whose feasibility for this application was demonstrated in the Phase I project, is based on the use of the Parametric Avalanche Stochastic Filter (PASF). In particular, the PASF is able to directly distinguish between crack events and other classes of acoustic signatures imbedded in a continuous, noisy data stream. It is anticipated that the results of this Phase II research will advance the use of AE technology to perform non-destructive evaluation (NDE) in a variety of applications, at a considerable cost savings over current methods. An additional benefit of this research is that the AE data sets collected during Phase I and Phase II will be made available to other researchers and developers in the field.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Phase II will demonstrate a successful AE-based NDE technology that will be marketed to the commercial and military aircraft manufacturing industry, commercial airlines, and aerospace maintenance and refurbishment firms. Phase II technology will also be utilized to pursue other NDE applications, including monitoring of pipelines, pressure vessels for petrochemical and nuclear power industries, and testing of load-bearing structures.
This project is creating algorithms and software to convert legacy engineering documents into electronic form. At the present time, there is no seamless way to transfer engineering documents, such as blueprints, maps, and specifications into electronic form. Existing automatic transfer methods are error-prone and fail to capture important object semantics and links among the documents. Most transfers to electronic form now occur by manually tracing paper blueprints and maps into electronic form. This is expensive and unreliable. As a result, examination and assessment of existing structures is limited, especially in time of crisis or after a failure has occurred. The research plan is to create new algorithms that will capture physical geometry and text in knowledge-based object formats. The overall research goal is to create frameworks, methods and software that can be used by a practicing engineer who is not a computer expert.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: This research will permit modern computer-based analysis on existing paper engineering documents. The software developed will have important commercial potential in helping earthquake analysis, failure prediction, as well as everyday use for translation and storage of archival drawings.
This project is devoted to demonstrating the uniqueness of corrosion protection of SiC-SiC composites. The SiC-SiC composites used as the substrate contain high temperature creep resistant MER CVR SiC fibers. These fibers are expected to greatly enhance market penetrations of CVI SiC-SiC composites in energy-related markets by providing high cost to benefit ratio. However, the use of these composites in corrosive environments at temperatures above 1200oC calls for corrosion protection coatings. The SiCw-Al2O3 coatings produced in Phase I offer a great potential in this area. The successful completion of Phase I demonstrated dense, adherent, crack-free, thermal shock resistant coatings deposited on a SiC substrate. In Phase II, this technology is being extended to include SiC-SiC tubular substrates with the goal of achieving excellent corrosion protection at temperatures up to 1400oC. In addition, efforts are being made to obtain high fracture toughness SiCw-Al2O3 coatings on SiC substrates. The success of the Phase II effort ensures several commercial applications of this technology in energy-related, cutting tools as well as other areas.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The potential applications include heat exchanger tubes, gas turbine engines, advanced aircraft engines, heat engine, filter applications and cutting tools.
This project demonstrates the feasibility of two-cone penetrometer chemical detection systems. These systems have the potential to reduce the cost of remediation site characterization, which is currently estimated at over $400 billion in the U.S., by 25%. This cost savings will be achieved by using chemical sensor-equipped cone penetrometers in place of the expensive soil boring and well monitoring processes currently used to characterize remediation sites. The Phase I effort demonstrated the feasibility of a membrane inlet assembly for cone penetrometers. The Phase II effort is demonstrating the feasibility of combining the membrane inlet assembly with two types of chemical sensors capable of detecting volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOCs). Prototype detection systems will be fabricated, calibrated in the laboratory, and then tested using standard cone penetrometer rigs at actual contaminated sites. The performance of the cone penetrometer sensors will be correlated with the results of EPA-approved analytical techniques.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: This research should result in two practical products, both of which can be attached to current cone penetrometer systems without modification. The first is a system which can measure the concentration of both chlorinated and nonchlorinated hydrocarbons in soil in real time. The second is an adaptor which permits one to mount a miniature gas chromatograph in a cone penetrometer.
Topic 24-Bioengineering and Environmental Systems
This project is aimed towards the development of improved methods of treating poorly stabilized (metastable) oil/water emulsions via ceramic crossflow filtration with membranes that are highly resistant to fouling and that have relatively low associated costs. Such emulsions encompass waste streams for which the flows on a national scale are very large, and include produced water from oil wells, desalter bottoms from crude oil washing, shipboard bilge and tank cleaning wastes, vehicle washwaters, and others. The overall objectives of this program include: (1) development of a more comprehensive and fundamental understanding of membrane fouling processes inherent to crossflow filtration of produced waters and similar feed streams, and their dependence on ceramic membrane properties, and (2) development of membranes on low-cost ceramic modules that are highly fouling-resistant. Experimental work encompasses modification and optimization of membrane fabrication approaches scouted in Phase I work, long-term crossflow process testing of membranes on both live and simulated oil/water emulsion streams with predominant focus on produced water and like systems, and thorough physical and chemical characterization of as-fabricated membranes, fouled membranes, and predominant foulant species. It is anticipated that useful knowledge related to membrane fouling mechanisms and their relationship with ceramic membrane characteristics will result from this program, in addition to commercially viable ceramic membranes that are highly fouling-resistant during metastable oil/water emulsion processing.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The highly fouling-resistant membranes to be developed in this program will be readily scalable to industrial-scale low-cost ceramic modules, and should provide significant benefits in both the economy and effectiveness of metastable oil/water emulsion separations. These separations encompass a wide range of very high volume wastewaters, as listed above.
Novel materials for use in photocatalytic destruction of organic contaminants on surfaces are being developed. Target applications of the technology include mildewcidal and bactericidal architectural paints and clear coats. The research objectives are to develop non-oxidizable ambient-temperature binders for photocatalytic TiO2; enhance destruction rates of target compounds using tailored surface coatings; demonstrate commercially useful self-cleaning, biocidal clear coats; and show that photocatalytic reactions produce no undesirable byproducts. A joint venture between Japanese government, industry, and academia was formed in 1993 to develop photocatalytic materials and applications in the paint, building materials, paper, and bath/kitchen fixture industries. Markets for photocatalytic products utilizing the materials that will be developed in the course of this project are large enough to sustain a $1 billion photocatalytic products industry in the U.S.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Primary applications for the technology are self-cleaning and biocidal paints and clear coats. U.S. markets for these applications are $350 million. Spin-off applications in destruction of chlorinated organics in water, treatment of industrial effluent gases, clean rooms, for semiconductor manufacturing and control of fruit ripening are envisioned.
Addressed is the need for a full-thickness skin replacement. The current standard treatment for full thickness injuries requires the use of split-thickness skin autografts (STSG) if available, or application of the more recently developed cultured epithelial autografts (CEA). These two techniques have significant drawbacks including: (1) the need to reharvest STSG donor sites in large surface area burn victims, (2) scarring and contracture of STSG donor sites, (3) delays in treatment while awaiting the production of CEA, (4) poor take rates for CEA requiring repeated applications, and (5) grafting with CEA alone leaves a deficit at the graft site due to absence of dermis. The ideal graft for full thickness wounds would have the following characteristics: (a) replace both lost dermis and epidermis, (b) not require extensive in vitro cell culture to produce, (c) deliver a persistent dermis and epidermis, and (d) require only one surgery and thereby reduce patient morbidity and mortality, and reduce costs as a result of shorter hospital stays. During the Phase I studies, LifeCell developed the tools and approaches necessary to achieve a practical, cost-effective configuration capable of delivering these characteristics. The ultimate goal of this program is to enable grafting of full thickness skin wounds with a reconstituted skin (human keratinocytes delivered with an acellular dermal matrix), thereby replacing the need for extensive STSG harvesting and avoiding the morbidity associated with skin graft donor sites. The Phase II research focuses on the identification, tagging, isolation and transfer of epidermal stem cells to the company's commercially available dermal transplant, AlloDerm,. The epidermal stem cell is responsible for all cell replacement in the continually renewing epidermis. The absence of these cells in a composite graft will lead to epithelial breakdown and loss of effective wound coverage requiring repeat surgeries and longer hospital stays. Successful application of the technology described would lead to a fundamental change in the way patients requiring skin grafting are treated. This approach would enable reproducible immediate application of reconstituted skin in a cost-effective manner.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Commercial applications include clinical situations involving full-thickness skin loss. This includes burns and reconstructive surgery. In addition, guided tissue regeneration may be assisted by a reconstituted skin system including application to periodontal surgery and epidermolysis bullosa for which there is no current effective therapy. Additional applications include chronic ulcers or growth factor deficient wounds of a variety of etiologies including venous stasis, diabetes and decubitus or pressure ulcers. This composite could also have applications as a model system for testing of pharmaceutical agents such as skin patches and transdermal agents.
This project continues the development of a novel biohydrometallurgical process for extracting gold and silver from bio-oxidized ore. This project investigates the use of a bisulfide leaching solution as an effective, but more environmentally-friendly and less costly, alternative to the conventional cyanidation process. Gold and silver mines are often located in pristine environments that are highly susceptible to pollution by mining and metals recovery activities. While biotechnologies have been developed for freeing precious metals from refractory ores, cyanidation is still the process of choice for extracting gold and silver values. However, in recent years the addition of the environmental costs to the total cost of mining gold and silver has stimulated a search for options which are more environmentally acceptable. The bisulfide leaching approach takes advantage of the fact that sulfate-reducing bacteria are capable of both producing dissolved sulfides which act as a completing agent for precious metals, and consuming hydrogen gas generated by the complexation (anaerobic corrosion) reaction. During Phase II, a laboratory prototype is being designed, constructed and operated; its performance will then be compared to that of the conventional cyanidation process. The prototype will include subsystems for bio-oxidation, gold extraction and gold recovery. A change in the basic technology of gold and silver extraction will reduce mining-related pollution at its source.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The process can be applied in leaching precious metals (gold, silver and platinum group metals) from their ores and from metal scrap, which is a $10 billion market worldwide. If Phase I results are borne out, bisulfide leaching could reduce chemical reagent costs. The biohydrometallurgical process could provide a means of gold and silver recovery that is both profitable and relatively non-polluting.
This project is designed to establish the commercial feasibility for use of a novel marine microbial polysaccharide in the removal of heavy metals from industrial effluents and environmental media including potable water. These metal pollutants are among the most prevalent and problematic waste treatment and environmental remediation targets. Current technologies provide only partially effective treatment and are costly to implement and use. This complex polysaccharide cell matrix designated MHS-3, which was shown in Phase I work to have exceptional affinity for heavy metals including lead and mercury, will be developed into an integrated metals removal system. Cell mass fabricated into a number of resin-like matrices will be evaluated for their ability to adsorb heavy metals from complex waste streams containing non-hazardous metals and organic materials under anticipated field conditions. The objectives of this Phase II project are: (1) establish conditions for the cost-effective production of MHS-3 cell mass, (2) characterize the performance of MHS-3 bioadsorbents against a full panel of regulated and nonregulated metals, (3) characterize bioadsorbent performance in at least two treatment system configurations, (4) evaluate prototype bioadsorbents in the treatment of model and real-world streams, (5) establish procedures for the cost-effective preparation of selected bioadsorbent(s), and (6) carry out bench-scale, large laboratory-scale and small pilot-scale demonstrations with prototype adsorbent treatment systems. It is anticipated that this work will document that these adsorbent systems offer superior treatment economics for many wastes and are an enabling technology for the treatment of others, including the removal of trace metals from drinking water.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: This research will form the basis of lower cost, more efficient and lower energy demanding methods for removing heavy metals from industrial effluents, landfill leachates, contaminated aquifers and drinking water supplies, and potentially, radioactive materials storage sites in the U.S. and worldwide. A truly effective technology will be enabling for a number of applications which cannot be addressed at present.
Addressed is the development of an innovative air pollution control device for the destruction and removal of hazardous chemical compounds emanating from industrial semiconductor fabrication processes as well as other sources of air pollutants such as soil vapor extraction remediation systems. Currently, air pollution control technologies are limited either by cost per pound of pollutant destroyed (thermal oxidation) or by space requirements (catalytic oxidation). The process will very efficiently oxidize hazardous air pollutants to such innocuous by-products as CO2 and H2O along with other easily scrubbed and neutralized compounds such as HCl. These hazardous air pollutants will be oxidized by reaction with oxidative free radicals which are generated by the application of non-thermal microwave plasmas. Non-thermal plasma techniques are a promising strategy for air pollution control and abatement. Phase II entails the development of a full-scale mobile system to demonstrate the viability of these plasmas for two distinct applications. The first is the development of an air control device for the destruction of thermally stable compounds such as perfluorocompounds emanating from semiconductor etching tools. The second demonstration will involve the destruction and removal of hazardous air pollutants such as benzene and trichloroethene emanating from soil vapor extraction remediation systems. These experiments will provide critical data such as plasma resonance times, reaction by-products, and destruction and removal efficiencies which can be used to design a variety of commercial control systems.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Non-thermal plasma application will potentially be a very cost-effective, reliable, flexible, low maintenance, and extremely efficient control technology for the removal of hard to incinerate gaseous air pollutants emanating from non-combustion sources such as semiconductor etching equipment and for hazardous air pollutants emanating from other sources such as soil vapor extraction remediations.
Research is outlined to develop a rapid, high throughput method for screening transfected cells based on recombinant protein secretion. Using gel microdrop single cell encapsulation technology, a unique capture assay format, and fluorescence activated cell sorting, protein secretion of individual cells can be measured and high producer cells isolated and recovered for gene therapy or bioprocessing applications. As additional biotechnology based products move toward com-mercialization, methods which improve the efficiency of cell selection and enhance bioprocessing yields will increase in importance. This novel, platform technology is adaptable to several clinical diagnostic, drug discovery, and therapeutic applications.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: Production of recombinant proteins using transfected cell lines is a multibillion dollar industry currently dominated by U.S. biopharmaceutical com-panies. Existing methods for selecting and expanding transfected cells are time consuming and highly variable. Successful completion of this research will result in improved cell screening for bioprocessing, drug discov-ery, and gene therapy applications.
The aim of this project is to apply a compact, low cost, all-solid-state induction accelerator technology to the destruction of toxic organic contaminants in wastewater. The Phase I objectives, to demonstrate effective and efficient destruction of benzene, and toluene with and without addition of oxidizing enhancers, hydrogen peroxide and dissolved oxygen, were met. This expanded database provides the motivation for rapid implementation of this technology in a pilot-scale field demonstration. Pilot scale is within the design parameters of the current SNOMAD-IV accelerator at Science Research Laboratory. Cost studies show this technology is superior to all competing remediation treatments, especially at contaminant concentrations above 50 ppm. Advantages of solid state circuitry, modularity, scalability and compactness offer additional technical advantages over conventional electron beam systems. Benzene destruction was effective to three or four orders-of-magnitude. Efficiencies compare well to those of conventional electrostatic electron accelerators. Peroxide addition and dissolved oxygen addition improve destruction efficiency by approximately 37%. From this, important associated cost implications are developed. An integrated Phase II development plan is presented which will address all performance and design issues in preparation for installation of a pilot-scale processor during Phase III. An experienced technical and business team has been assembled to bring this technology to commercialization.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: EPA estimates 35 billion gallons of highly toxic wastewater was treated by U.S. industries in 1989 at a cost of $2 billion. SRL's novel induction accelerator will capture at least 5% of this market with annual gross revenues of $100 million. Since the water-intensive pulp and paper industry discharges even much larger volumes of wastewater, 4.25 billion gallons daily, SRL will first target this industry on a pilot scale.
Topic 25-Education and Human Resources
This project is developing a standard method of providing computer access to people with physical disabilities. In recent years the use of personal computers in education has increased dramatically. Because many people with physical disabilities are not able to use a keyboard or a mouse, it is difficult to provide them with equal access to this education. A variety of devices have been developed which provide an alternate means of controlling computers, but their usefulness is seriously compromised by the lack of a standard method of providing computer control. The recent introduction of the PCMCIA bus, a technology which uses credit card sized interface devices, provides an opportunity to standardize computer access for people with disabilities. This project is developing software interfaces which allow personal computers to be controlled through the PCMCIA bus. A family of interface devices is also being developed. Standard software drivers are being developed and documented in an open standard. These drivers will be provided to both the computer industry and manufacturers of assistive technology.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: This project is developing computer interface devices which are smaller, more portable, less expensive and provide greater functionality than any product currently available. These advantages over currently available devices will assure the economic viability of the products.
This project leverages recent understanding of dynamic geometry and new power of machines to a second generation of dynamic geometry software-The Mathematician's Sketchpad-with much greater ease of use, improved integration with other areas of mathematics and science, and new conceptual and visual metaphors for building dynamic mathematical models. The starting point for the project is The Geometer's Sketchpad, one of the most highly regarded and commercially successful software systems presently available in the United States. From dynamic geometry mixed with symbolic algebra and graphing comes dynamic algebra which will allow students, teachers, and authors to create Sketchbooks based on user-specified sets of tools. This new technology combined with classroom materials will fundamentally change how teachers and students learn and do mathematics.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: The commercial success of The Geometer's Sketchpad demonstrates the commercial potential of The Mathematician's Sketchpad. The new program will have even more utility for the geometry classroom than the current generation of The Geometer's Sketchpad and, if the research is successful, will have ready application throughout the secondary and college mathematics curriculum. The enthusiastic response of teachers to prototypes of both software and curriculum materials produced during Phase I indicates that there will be high level of teacher support. The curriculum materials to be developed during the project provide another proven avenue of commercial sustainability for the eventual products of the research.
This project is developing an innovative new approach to health physics training, i.e., the development of a computer simulator that can be used in place of actual radiation sources. Such a simulator will result in much lower cost of training, provide for a wider variety of training situations, and eliminate the safety hazards associated with actual radiation sources. Consultec is building a computer system that will simulate the presence of various types of radiation sources in a variety of environments. The Phase I effort proved the concept of radiation calculations "on the fly" in a two-dimensional space. The Surveyor module developed in Phase I allows a user to create a radiation environment on the computer screen and conduct a radiation "survey," interacting with software and hardware instruments. The Phase II effort is extending the success of Phase I and will accomplish the following: enhance the calculations of Surveyor to three-dimensional space; develop a wireless version of the hardware instrument for untethered operation; incorporate a three-dimensional location detection system for location of the wireless hardware device; and create two other software modules (Radiation Physics Laboratory and Examiner). These combined components will result in a comprehensive radiation simulator that will remove radioactive sources from the training environment and reduce the amount of exposure to students and faculty.
The potential commercial applications as described by the awardee: This simulator is expected to have numerous commercial applications and to make a major impact on health physics training. It will improve the efficiency and productivity of training activities in nuclear medicine, nuclear power production, nuclear research, nuclear weapon production and disposal, environmental restoration and waste management.