Extreme Diagnostics evolves to deal with post-9/11 realities. Our Autonomous Health Sensor (AHS) will be a portable, non-invasive testing
system that remotely scans and monitors at-risk aerospace transports,
dams, bridges, roadways and buildings.
in zero gravity
NASA asked us to design and build a way to measure how fluids behave in
space. Then we climbed aboard their zero-G simulation aircraft to test
We outfitted robotic submarines to collect coastal dynamics data off Florida's
Gulf Coast, and set up a way to control them from our lab in Boulder,
in a suitcase
NASA needed a way to monitor protein crystals growing on board the International
Space Station. We developed a custom laband fit it all into a ruggedized,
An R&D lab small enough
to fit in a Space Shuttle glovebox.
custom laboratory passes laser light
through transparent objects that fit the sample holder. It records digital
holograms of the test object and passes them to a computer. There we
compare the holograms, one to another, and calculate minute differences
between them in terms of slight delays, advances, and modulations in
the laser wave-front. These minute differences represent changes occurring
in between holographic recordings changes in fluid concentration,
temperature anything that would locally perturb the sample density
and its refractive index. Our near-spaceflight unit measures fluid concentration
changes down to 0.01% over distances of only 1 mm. With more fluid,
the accuracy is even better. This portable unit fits in an aircraft
carryon, weighs about 40 pounds, and is rugged enough to transport from
city to city and be ready for immediate use.
The software features a host of analysis tools and user aids, such as
pseudocolor, three-dimensional data representation, two-dimensional
xy profile slices, and numerical readout. The entire package was refined
at the University of Colorado BioServe Space Technologies research center,
where scientists worked with our system for two years to analyze protein
crystal growth and bacterial life sciences experiments.
Owen, R. B., A. A. Zozulya, M. R. Benoit and D. M. Klaus, "Microgravity
materials and life sciences research applications of digital holography,"
Appl. Opt. 41: 3927-35 (2002).
R. B. and A. A. Zozulya, "Comparative study using double-exposure
digital holography and a Shack-Hartmann sensor to characterize transparent
materials," Appl. Opt. 41(28) 2002.