Thermoacoustic Duplex Technology for Cooling and Powering a Venus Lander

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX13CC56P
Agency Tracking Number: 125277
Amount: $125,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: S3.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
OH, Fremont, OH, 43420-7400
DUNS: 928298983
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Mark Haberbusch
 Principal Investigator
 (419) 499-9653
Business Contact
 Mark Haberbusch
Title: Business Official
Phone: (419) 499-9653
Research Institution
Sierra Lobo proposes to develop a technology that can provide both cooling and electric power generation using heat. When coupled with a radioisotope heat source, the technology is ideally suited to the needs of a long-lived Venus lander. The heat source powers Sierra Lobo's Thermoacoustic Stirling Heat Engine (TASHE), which is directly coupled to a Pulse Tube Refrigerator (PTR) in a duplex configuration. A linear alternator, also directly coupled, generates electricity. This configuration reduces the number of energy conversion processes and thus maximizes efficiency. The PTR cools a space called the coldbay that houses the linear alternator and scientific instruments. The only moving parts in the system are free pistons that tune the resonant frequency, which operate at Venus-ambient temperature, and the linear alternators that operate near Earth-ambient temperature.The system can potentially be used with the gas from the atmosphere of Venus, which is primarily composed of CO2, as a working fluid. This provides two key advantages: (1) The system can make the transit to Venus in a low-pressure state, which significantly decreases system mass, and (2) the effect of leakage during operation is minimized, providing confidence in long mission lifetime.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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