NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- B1.02-8784 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023215 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Gravitational Effects on Biotechnology and Materials Sciences
PROPOSAL TITLE: Enhanced Blackbody Sensors for the Quench Module Insert

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Rd
Huntsville , AL   35811 - 1558
(256 ) 851 - 7653

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Scott O'Dell
4914 Moores Mill Rd
Huntsville , AL   35811 - 1558
(256 ) 851 - 7653

Experiment Modules (EM) such as the Quench Module Insert (QMI) must be comprised of robust components to minimize the need for recalibration and refurbishment/replacement on the International Space Station. A critical aspect for proper operation of the QMI is thermal performance monitoring by blackbody sensors (BBS). Significant improvements in the ability of the sensor to monitor thermal performance could be realized by improving the joint quality between BBS rings and tantalum sheathed thermocouples. Modification of the sensor ring?s surface properties to increase its apparent emissivity would also benefit thermal performance monitoring. Therefore, novel laser brazing techniques will be developed for the production of robust joints between tantalum sheathed thermocouples and BBS rings. Additionally, a tantalum carbide emissivity coating will be evaluated for use with tantalum sensor rings for improved radiative heat transfer properties. Thermal cycle testing will be conducted to evaluate the joint quality of the enhanced BBS and the bond between TaC emissivity coatings and tantalum sensor rings. During Phase II, the techniques developed during Phase I will be optimized and using these techniques flight quality BBS will be produced for testing with QMI furnaces at Marshall Space Flight Center.

Much emphasis is currently being placed on the development of high temperature, robust joining techniques for refractory metals, ceramics and composite materials for numerous commercial applications. The joining techniques that will be developed during this research can be used for many of these applications including, but not limited to, high temperature furnace and retort components, rocket motor throat inserts, radiation shields, heat pipes, power generation equipment, nuclear components, turbines, combustion chambers, incinerators, beam and sputter targets.

With the deployment of the International Space Station, access to microgravity for materials science experiments will increase significantly. Robust furnace instrumentation and components are needed to maximize processing performance and the quality of the science conducted. Other relevant NASA applications include, but are not limited to, other high temperature joints, attachment of adjustment blocks to refractory metal cartridges, high emissivity coatings for sample ampoule cartridge assemblies (SACA), and tantalum carbide coatings for protection from molten metals.

Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10