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

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$70,000.00
Award Year:
2004
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNG04CA84C
Award Id:
72017
Agency Tracking Number:
033679
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
5552 Cathedral Oaks Road, Santa Barbara, CA, 93111
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
012175837
Principal Investigator:
Paul Holland
Principal Investigator
(805) 692-4978
pholland@thorleaf.com
Business Contact:
Paul Holland
Business Official
(805) 692-4978
pholland@thorleaf.com
Research Institute:
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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