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Venus Lander Experiment Vessel

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Ceramic Composites, Inc.
133 Defense Highway, Suite 212 Annapolis, MD 21401-8907
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Venus Lander Experiment Vessel
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNC07CA27C
Award Amount: $599,922.00


Ceramic Composites Inc. (CCI) of Millersville, MD in association with Swales Aerospace of Beltsville, MD have evaluated an innovative approach for the design of a Venus probe to maximize the payload volume and mass, while increasing probe lifetime. CCI and Swales have evaluated state-of-the-art materials and concepts to create a combination of thermal management approaches which maximizes value to NASA such as: 1) augmentation of the passive insulation with phase change materials (PCM) and two-phase evaporation cooling to maximize thermal protection at minimal volume and mass, 2) providing system corrosion protection through reverse flow gas balance to prolong vessel, sensor and window life, and 3) replacement of the titanium pressure vessel with a polymer matrix composite to reduce vessel mass and increase payload mass. The analyses conducted in Phase I indicate that the baseline concept will provide a lifetime of approximately 35 earth hours (while also managing a continuous 150W load from the scientific equipment) with a 100kg mass savings compared to a system employing the same thermal management system with a titanium pressure vessel. The Phase II effort will focus on refining the concept; designing, manufacturing, and evaluating a subscale prototype.

Principal Investigator:

Steven F. Seghi
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Sharon M. Fehrenbacher
Small Business Information at Submission:

Ceramic Composites, Inc.
133 Defense Highway, Suite 212 Annapolis, MD 21401

EIN/Tax ID: 521740350
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No