High Pressure Micro-Sampling System for In Situ Deep Subsurface Measurements

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NAS2-02106
Agency Tracking Number: 013376
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Thorleaf Research, Inc.
5552 Cathedral Oaks Road, Santa Barbara, CA, 93111
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Holland
 Principal Investigator
 (805) 692-4978
Business Contact
 Paul Holland
Title: Business Official
Phone: (805) 692-4978
Email: pholland@thorleaf.com
Research Institution
Thorleaf Research, Inc. has demonstrated feasibility in Phase I and now proposes a Phase II effort to develop a miniature, aseptic, high pressure micro-sampling system for in situ measurements in deep subsurface environments. This addresses an important NASA technology gap for astrobiology related studies, mainly how to acquire and process deep subsurface samples for in situ analysis while meeting challenging mass, volume and power constraints. In these high pressure environments, the integrity of the sample may be compromised by degassing of volatile components if brought to the surface. Our proposed high pressure micro-sampling inlet system addresses this by collecting a micro-sample in the high pressure environment, then transfers it into a protected low pressure environment within the instrument housing for processing and analysis. The proposed enabling technology will allow in situ analysis in deep subsurface environments by the new generation of miniaturized, low power instruments being developed by NASA, including GC/MS, isotope spectrometers, and other techniques that inherently require low pressures for operation. Since we plan to follow a modular design approach in our Phase II development, this core instrumentation can be adapted for a variety of astrobiology-related applications including Cryobot missions in deep ice and deep sea measurements.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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