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Enhanced Blackbody Sensors for the Quench Module Insert

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Plasma Processes, LLC
4914 Moores Mill Road Huntsville, AL 35811-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Enhanced Blackbody Sensors for the Quench Module Insert
Agency: NASA
Contract: NAS8-03017
Award Amount: $70,000.00


Experiment Modules (EM) such as the Quench Module Insert (QMI) must be comprised of robust components to minimize the need for recalibration and refurbishment/replacement on the International Space Station. A critical aspect for proper operation of the QMI is thermal performance monitoring by blackbody sensors (BBS). Significant improvements in the ability of the sensor to monitor thermal performance could be realized by improving the joint quality between BBS rings and tantalum sheathed thermocouples. Modification of the sensor ring?s surface properties to increase its apparent emissivity would also benefit thermal performance monitoring. Therefore, novel laser brazing techniques will be developed for the production of robust joints between tantalum sheathed thermocouples and BBS rings. Additionally, a tantalum carbide emissivity coating will be evaluated for use with tantalum sensor rings for improved radiative heat transfer properties. Thermal cycle testing will be conducted to evaluate the joint quality of the enhanced BBS and the bond between TaC emissivity coatings and tantalum sensor rings. During Phase II, the techniques developed during Phase I will be optimized and using these techniques flight quality BBS will be produced for testing with QMI furnaces at Marshall Space Flight Center.

Principal Investigator:

Scott O'Dell
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Timothy McKechnie
Small Business Information at Submission:

Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Rd Huntsville, AL 35811

EIN/Tax ID: 631100320
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No