Low-Cost Small Diameter NMR Technologies for In-Situ Subsurface Characterization and Monitoring

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Vista Clara Inc.
12201 Cyrus Way Suite 104
Mukilteo, WA 98275
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


This project will develop low-cost, small-diameter NMR instrumentation and software for in situ characterization and monitoring of groundwater and water-bearing formations in the near subsurface. The effort will leverage magnet/coil designs and NMR techniques pioneered for deep petroleum exploration, and implement them in miniaturized, low-cost form factors suitable for hydrogeological investigations in the top 200 meters of the subsurface. Phase I will address the problem of characterizing and monitoring subsurface hydrogeological formations and groundwater transport processes within 200m of the earth¿s surface, including the both the saturated and unsaturated (Vadose) zones. Low-cost, minimally invasive, small-diameter instrumentation will be developed, along with associated software, for direct subsurface measurement of groundwater and its hydraulic properties. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The instrumentation and software should lead to low-cost commercial NMR hydrogeology analysis systems, packaged for use in various diameter boreholes and cone penetrometer applications. The technology would bring the unique advantages of in situ NMR measurements to a broad variety of subsurface hydrological investigations at a fraction of the cost of existing borehole NMR instruments and services.