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Solid-State, Electrochemical Micro-Sensors for Atmospheric Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide Measurements at the Surface of Venus

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC19C0160
Agency Tracking Number: 185133
Amount: $749,904.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S1
Solicitation Number: SBIR_18_P2
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-06-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-06-11
Small Business Information
1585 Marauder Street
Chico, CA 95973-9064
United States
DUNS: 933302655
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Darby Makel
 (530) 895-2771
Business Contact
 Darby Makel
Phone: (530) 895-2771
Research Institution

Makel Engineering, Inc. (MEI) proposes to develop high temperature, solid state sensors to monitor carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen (N2) in the Venus atmosphere.nbsp; A harsh environment chemical sensor array suitable for measuring key trace species in the Venus atmosphere has been developed by MEI under a recent SBIR program. Currently there are no demonstrated chemical microsensors suitable to measure the two most abundant species (CO2 ~ 97% and N2~ 3%) in the Venus atmosphere at high pressure and high temperature conditions (CO2 and N2 exist as supercritical fluids near Venus surface). The proposed amperometric and potentiometric sensors are compatible with silicon carbide (SiC) electronics under development for Venus chemical sensing instruments, complementing recent and ongoing efforts to support Venus atmospheric analysis. Future missions which may descent through the atmosphere and operate on the surface of Venus measuring the composition of the atmosphere would benefit from this new capability to accurately measure small variations of N2 and CO2 concentration.nbsp;Phase I of the program focused on design and demonstration of the sensor material systems and sensing capability.nbsp; Prototype sensors were fabricated and tested in relevant laboratory conditions, demonstrating the technology to TRL 4. In Phase II, the CO2 and N2 sensors will be coupled with electronics to meet the needs of key applications of interest.nbsp; For planetary use, SiC based electronics being developed by MEI under the Hot Operating Temperature Technology (HOTTech) program will enable operation of chemical sensors for extended periods on the surface of Venus.nbsp;

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

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