High Pressure Atmospheric Sampling Inlet System for Venus or the Gas Giants

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNG04CA84C
Agency Tracking Number: 033679
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
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
DUNS: 012175837
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Holland
 Principal Investigator
 (805) 692-4978
 pholland@thorleaf.com
Business Contact
 Paul Holland
Title: Business Official
Phone: (805) 692-4978
Email: pholland@thorleaf.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Thorleaf Research, Inc. proposes to develop a miniaturized high pressure atmospheric sampling inlet system for sample acquisition in extreme planetary environments, such as those encountered in the lower troposphere of Venus or the atmospheres of the gas giants, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. This addresses a key technology gap for planetary studies, mainly how to acquire and prepare samples for in situ analysis while meeting challenging mass, volume and power constraints. Although miniaturized mass spectrometers and other low power instruments are under development by NASA for in situ measurements, the great potential of such instrumentation for exploration of the Solar System will not be realized without complementary developments in the technology for collecting and preparing samples for analysis. Our proposed approach collects an atmospheric gas micro-sample at high pressure and transfers it into a protected low pressure environment within a small pressure housing for analysis by GC/MS, mass spectrometry or other techniques that inherently require low pressures for operation. This new technology will enable in situ measurement of the composition and key isotope ratios in high pressure planetary atmospheres down to trace levels.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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