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Very Low-Cost, Rugged, High-Vacuum System for Mass Spectrometers

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Creare Inc.
P.O. Box 71 Hanover, NH 03755-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Very Low-Cost, Rugged, High-Vacuum System for Mass Spectrometers
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX09CA64C
Award Amount: $599,875.00


NASA, the DoD, DHS, and commercial industry have a pressing need for miniaturized, rugged, low-cost, high vacuum systems. Recent advances in sensor technology at NASA and other government laboratories, in academia, and in industry have led to the development of very small mass spectrometer detectors, as well as other analytical instruments needing high vacuum, such as scanning electron microscopes. However, the vacuum systems to support these sensors remain large, heavy, and power hungry. To meet this need, Creare proposes to build a miniaturized vacuum system based on a very small, rugged, and inexpensive-to-manufacture, molecular drag pump (MDP). The MDP is enabled by the development of a miniature, very high-speed (200,000 RPM), rugged, low-power, brushless, DC motor which will be optimized for wide temperature operation and long life during this project. The vacuum pump has performance that is well matched to the needs of the new generation of miniature analytical instruments. The pump represents an order-of-magnitude reduction in mass, volume, and cost over current, commercially available, state-of-the-art vacuum pumps. The new pump will form the heart of a complete vacuum system optimized to support analytical instruments in terrestrial applications as well as on spacecraft and planetary landers. Furthermore, the miniature high-speed motor will be designed so that it can be used in a wide range of high vacuum pumps, including pure molecular drag, pure turbomolecular, and hybrid turbomolecular/molecular drag pumps that can be tailored to the requirements of specific missions and applications.

Principal Investigator:

Robert Kline-Schoder
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

James J. Barry
Small Business Information at Submission:

Creare, Inc.
P.O. Box 71 Hanover, NH 03755

EIN/Tax ID: 020259551
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No