Restricted Research - Award List, Note/Discussion Page

Fiscal Year: 2021

258  University of North Texas  (84554)

Principal Investigator: Verbeck IV,Guido Fridolin

Total Amount of Contract, Award, or Gift (Annual before 2011): $ 80,894

Exceeds $250,000 (Is it flagged?): No

Start and End Dates: - 1/15/20

Restricted Research: YES

Academic Discipline: College of Science - Gen

Department, Center, School, or Institute: College of Science

Title of Contract, Award, or Gift: Machine Learning for Robotics Team: Development of a Portable Mass Spectrometer for the Detection of CWA at the Water Air Interface

Name of Granting or Contracting Agency/Entity: University of Texas at Dallas

CFDA: 12.000

Program Title: N/A


This research project requests an investment in a modular and boat-portable membrane inlet mass spectrometer (MIMS) that could immediately address several detection gaps or programs currently ongoing within the Department of Homeland Security. Within UNT proposes to leverage an existing miniaturized and portable analytical platform that is already at a high technical readiness level (TRL 6) that, with a modest investment, could quickly be capable of addressing threats to our homeland. The instrument detailed in this proposal has been proven to work in relevant operational environments for threat chemistries, especially at the S/K Challenge at Dugway Proving Grounds (May 2018). Preliminary tests conducted at ECBC indicate the same instrument is highly effective for the detection of CWAs in real-time. This sensor is state-of-the-art and would significantly advance our readiness to the ever-evolving threats we face on a daily basis. BACKGROUND: Membrane inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS) utilizes a semi-permeable membrane material to allow for selective transfer of chemistries of interest into a mass analysis region1. The technique is an alternative to ambient ionization methods, such as electrospray (ESI) and direct analysis in real-time (DART) which require high vacuum pumping, high voltage ionization sources, and complex ion optics. Within MIMS, the vacuum is self-contained, with little gas load on accompanying vacuum systems, this reduces the size, weight, and power (SWaP) of the device. Furthermore, the semi-permeable membrane allows for sole transmission of chemistries of interest from the atmosphere, which reduces limits-of-detection and interferent problems (Figure 1). The MIMS technique ultimately reduces the ion load on the mass analyzer, allowing for rapid response times, lower limits of detection, reduced false positives, and resulting in compact efficient devices.

Discussion: No discussion notes


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