High Temperature Acid Resistant Balloon

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Amount:
$100,000.00
Program:
SBIR
Contract:
NNX11CF52P
Solitcitation Year:
2010
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Branch:
N/A
Award Year:
2011
Phase:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
104621
Solicitation Topic Code:
S3.07
Small Business Information
MER Corporation
7960 South Kolb Road, Tucson, AZ, 85756-9237
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
147518286
Principal Investigator
 Eugene Dyadko
 Principal Investigator
 (520) 574-1980
 mercorp@mercorp.com
Business Contact
 Raouf Loutfy
Title: President
Phone: (520) 574-1980
Email: rloutfy@mercorp.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
A Venus mission will require a vehicle for atmospheric exploration and to transport the samples from the Venus surface to the top of the atmosphere. For this purpose it is reasonable (due to the high density of the Venus atmosphere) to use inflatable balloons, which occupy minimal space in the folded position and possess buoyancy upon being inflated. The Venus atmosphere contains hot (up to 460oC) clouds of sulfuric acid. The only kinds of material for an inflatable to withstand such high temperatures are metals.A sequence of operations is proposed to build balloons of different shapes with diffusion bonding of stainless steels or other alloys, which are most resistant against hot 85% sulfuric acid. However, even these materials possess a many times greater corrosion rate than that satisfying the currenttopic requirements on the balloon life time and areal density. In order to provide the required corrosion resistance, the fully bonded balloon will be coated with a thin layer of gold or tantalum by a PVD process or with gold by electroplating so that the entire laminate would possess an areal density of below 1000 g/m3. Building a seamless bellows by PVD is a backup option.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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