WALTHAM, Mass., Jan. 18 -- Ion Optics has been awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research Award by the US Department of Transportation to develop protocols and instrumentation for the measurement of internal combustion engine exhaust emissions. The Dept. of Transportation aims to speed development of an inexpensive, lightweight, portable sensor and data collection system for dockside or shipboard monitoring of exhaust emissions of marine vessels that use diesel or alternative fuels. Ion Optics plans to modify its handheld infrared spectrometer, the MicroSpe, for use in testing exhaust emissions. The company will validate the modifications at Cooper Energy Services' large internal combustion engine laboratory. Cooper Energy -- a division of Cooper Cameron Corp. of Houston, Texas -- manufactures large internal combustion engines that operate on a range of fuels; the company is interested in developing an on-board engine monitor for real-time feedback control.