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Venus In-Situ Mineralogy Reaction Array (VIMRA) Sensor Platform

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0158
Agency Tracking Number: 194193
Amount: $749,946.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S1
Solicitation Number: SBIR_19_P2
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-07-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-07-08
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., John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and Wesleyan University propose to develop the Venus In-Situ Mineralogy Reaction Array (VIMRA) Sensor Platform. VIMRA is a harsh environment sensor array suitable for measuring reactions of Venus gases with surface minerals using a platform which could be part of the science instrument payload for planetary landers such as the Long Lived In-Situ Solar System Explorer (LLISSE). Phase I of the program focused on design and demonstration of sensor material systems and sensing capability with several mineral types of interest for Venus. such as anhydrite, calcite, augite (pyroxene), olivine, albite (feldspar), hematite, magnetite, pyrite, apatite, cassiterite, gold. The Phase II deliverable VIMRA system can be used on Venus simulation chambers such as NASA Glenn Extreme Environment Rig (GEER) and Mini-GEER for extended durations to support fundamental mineralogy science.nbsp; Phase I demonstrated pure mineral sample sensor platforms suitable for real-time, in-situ measurement of changes in electrical properties of the samples due to reaction with Venus type atmospheric gases. Phase I also demonstrated the capability of VIMRA as a component suitable for an in-situ instrument that could provide information on the type and rate of gas-solid type reactions by monitoring an array of minerals and thus constrain type and rate of atmospheric gas interactions with selected minerals. The proposed VIMRA sensor platform will complement recent and ongoing efforts on the development of harsh environment instruments suitable for atmospheric analysis in future Venus missions, addressing a technology gap by developing sensors to monitor mineral/gas reactions. In Phase II, the platform will be combined with silicon electronics to facilitate demonstration.nbsp; Follow on integration of SiC electronics will provide a high temperature capable payload suitable for extended operation on the surface of Venus.

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

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