Novel Heat Flow Probe Design and Deployment

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX09CF36P
Agency Tracking Number: 085512
Amount: $99,223.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: S1.11
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
460 W 34th Street, New York, NY, 10001-2320
DUNS: 131364820
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kris Zacny
 Principal Investigator
 (510) 207-4555
Business Contact
 Chris Chapman
Title: President
Phone: (646) 459-7802
Research Institution
We propose to develop a novel method for deploying heat flow sensors/heaters in a hole and also a novel approach to subsurface access using a percussive method. The sensor deployment concept consists of a deployable string of thermal sensors/heaters initially housed inside a hollow probe. As envisioned, the deployable sensor string would consist of thermal sensors/heaters mounted to small spring-like structures of low thermal inertia fastened to a tether at appropriate intervals. The probe assembly is driven into the subsurface using a percussive (high frequency low impact) actuator. Upon reaching depth, the cone mounted at the end of the tube would separate from penetrometer and left behind as an anchor for the sensor string. The sensor string would then be deployed from the tube as the tube is retracted from the hole. The proposed method offers many advantages including: • Optimum thermal isolation between consecutive heat flow sensors (RTD`s) • Thermal isolation between sensors and a lander platform/deployment system, • Direct contact between the sensors and regolith, • Percussive deployment method that does not rely extensively on lander mass • All the electrical connectors will be established prior to the launch

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

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