An international oil and gas company that operates a liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal on Italy’s Adriatic Sea coast recently encountered a...
Safety Scan Technology, Inc., a portfolio company of HydroFlo, Inc., announced the assistance of NASA-funded Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program (SATOP) to help streamline their revolutionary technology, the Aquacorder. The challenge is to make the device compact in order to scan and analyze contaminants in water systems.
The technology, Swept Frequency Acoustic Interferometry (SFAI), was originally created by Dipen N. Sinha with Los Alamos National Laboratories. It utilizes high frequency sound waves to analyze and detect pre-programmed contaminants in water systems through metal, glass, ceramic, and plastic barriers. SFAI has been in use for several years by the federal government as well as for the internal purposes at LANL.
“This technology will allow our customers the ability to analyze their water supply immediately and without opening the container,” said Mike Doss, Safety Scan Technology’s chief operating officer. Potential clients for SFAI and the advanced scanner include desalinization plants, beverage bottling processes, and semiconductor and pharmaceutical manufacturers, which need to verify incoming water purity.
SSTI approached SATOP for assistance in consolidating the electronics associated with SFAI into a smaller, potentially hand-held sized unit, in contrast to the bulkier equipment currently in use. This new technology is light-years ahead of anything else on the market right now and should revolutionize the way water is controlled and analyzed,” said Christophe Gilfriche, SATOP Florida senior program engineer.
Dan Kovach reviewed the technology and once he had a thorough grasp of the concept, he was able to identify circuit configurations that could be implemented, confirm that the device could indeed be miniaturized, and provide suggestions on how to achieve the miniaturization.
“My research concluded that the SFAI device can be miniaturized to the size of a commercially available handheld device using commercially available components,” Kovach said.
In addition, Kovach suggested rearranging the components and provided a list of options for consideration, such as a wireless system or separate monitor. He also advised that SSTI avoid components that contain lead due to potential bans on such components in various markets throughout the world. Lastly, Kovach provided suggestions for alternative methods for design and different graphical display options.
“Dan’s advice will help us bring our product to the prototype stage faster, and we will be able to move more quickly to make the device smaller,” Doss said. Development of a working prototype is under way, and once completed the company will perform extensive field testing.
“We were looking for guidance about our micro circuitry, with the goal of saving a step or two in development down the road,” Doss said. “We certainly received that and more from Dan, not to mention the opportunity to be associated with a great program like SATOP.”