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Planetary Vacuum Cleaner for Venus and Mars

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX16CP23P
Agency Tracking Number: 156544
Amount: $123,628.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S4.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-06-10
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-12-09
Small Business Information
Building 3, Suite 1005 63 Flushing Avenue Unit 150
Brooklyn, NY 11205-1070
United States
DUNS: 000000000
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Kris Zacny
 Principal Investigator
 (510) 207-4555
Business Contact
 Kris Zacny
Title: Business Official
Phone: (510) 207-4555
Research Institution

The majority of planetary bodies of interest to exploration are covered with a layer of granular material called regolith. These bodies include the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Asteroids, Comets and moons of Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. Surface missions to these bodies, would most probably require some type of a sampling system to capture samples and deliver them to in-situ instruments or sample return containers.

Honeybee Robotics, therefore, proposes to develop a robust on-demand sample acquisition and delivery system enabled by a high efficiency blower. The system will be akin to conventional vacuum cleaners on Earth, but adapted for Venus conditions. As such, the main technology areas will include development of the following four subsystems: Blower, Cyclone, Nozzle and Tubing; with the Blower being most critical.

The target mission will be Venus In Situ Explorer (VISE), however, the technology could be adopted to Mars missions. We will use CFD FLUENT to perform blower and cyclone analysis simulating Venus' atmosphere and gravity, as gravity affects cyclone performance. We will fabricate and test a blower under relevant pressure conditions in a high pressure chamber. We will also fabricate a cyclone and suction tubes. The system will be assembled to allow end to end testing. Further, we will develop a TRL 5/6 design for the pneumatic system, which would be fabricated and tested in Phase 2

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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