Miniaturized, Low Power Cryogenic Inlet System with Sampling Probes for Titan

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNC07CA24C
Agency Tracking Number: 054875
Amount: $600,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: S2.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Thorleaf Research, Inc.
5552 Cathedral Oaks Road, Santa Barbara, CA, 93111-1406
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. has demonstrated feasibility in Phase 1 and now proposes a Phase 2 effort to develop a miniature, low power cryogenic inlet system with sampling probes for Titan. This addresses a key technology gap for planetary studies, mainly how to acquire and prepare complex cryogenic samples of astrobiology interest for in situ analysis while meeting challenging mass, volume and power constraints. The proposed sampling system is designed to collect surface samples at Titan's 94K (-179C) cryogenic temperatures using two different miniature probe designs, one for collecting atmospheric aerosols, dust or particles, and another for surface penetration. The samples, which are presumed to include hydrocarbons, nitriles, tholins and other materials, can then be thermally processed by vaporization, thermal desorption or pyrolysis to prepare them for chemical analysis by GC/MS, GC/IMS or other techniques. Our Phase 1 results have demonstrated feasibility for developing a miniaturized cryogenic sampling inlet system with sampling probes weighing on the order of 100g with a peak power consumption of 20 watts or less. Because vaporization, thermal desorption or pyrolysis heating would only be required for a few seconds during each chemical analysis duty cycle, we project average power usage at a fraction of a watt.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government