NASA SBIR 00-II Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 19.02-9841 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 000160 )
PROPOSAL TITLE: Extremely Miniaturized, Turbomolecular Pump-Based Vacuum System

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
NASA and commercial industry have pressing needs for miniaturized high vacuum systems. Recent advances in sensor technology have led to the development of very small mass spectrometers and other analytical instruments, but the vacuum systems required to support these sensors remain relatively large, heavy, and power-hungry. In particular, high vacuum systems of adequate performance continue to be too large for man-portable systems or for deployment on interplanetary probes, UAVs, balloons, and spacecraft.

To meet these needs, Creare proposes to build two extremely miniaturized vacuum systems: one optimized for use on Mars, and the other designed for Earth applications. Both systems will utilize a very small turbomolecular pump, in some applications combined with an integral molecular drag pump, that is approximately the size of a C-cell battery. All of the key components of this pump were successfully demonstrated during Phase I. During Phase II, special emphasis will be placed on developing vacuum systems that can be manufactured at reasonable cost and that will withstand harsh environmental challenges. The work plan heavily leverages analytical tools, fabrication techniques, and facilities developed on a previous NASA-funded project, which resulted in the development of what was until now the world's smallest turbomolecular pump.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The extremely miniaturized vacuum pump technology developed in this project will find a number of applications in portable gas analysis equipment, especially mass spectrometers. Such systems are a powerful tool for pollution monitoring, process control, and trace element determination. A particularly attractive commercial product would be truly hand-held residual gas analyzers and helium leak detectors. The military also has a great interest in deploying highly portable mass spectrometers for the detection of chemical and biological warfare agents.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Dr. Marc A. Kenton
Creare Inc.
Etna Road, P.O. Box 71
Hanover , NH   03755 - 0071

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Creare Inc.
Etna Road, P.O. Box 71
Hanover , NH   03755 - 0071


Form Printed on 11-26-01 17:18