NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 S5.05-9528
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Extreme Environments Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Sapphire Viewports for a Venus Probe

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Thoughtventions Unlimited
40 Nutmeg Lane
Glastonbury, CT 06033 - 2314
(860) 658-9014

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stephen C Bates
40 Nutmeg Lane
Glastonbury, CT 06033 - 2314
(860) 657-9014

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The proposed Phase 1 program will demonstrate that sapphire viewports are feasible for use in Venus probes. TvU's commercial viewport products have demonstrated that the pressure and temperature constraints will be met, while the use of materials appropriate to the atmospheric conditions will satisfy the overall physical constraints. The viewport system will be shown to be adaptable to overall NASA use constraints. A prototype viewport system will be designed for fabrication and testing, and application in Phase 2. Task work will detail the design of both the window and the fixture, test a sample, and emphasize the most important aspects of the design and specification. Phase 1 work will lay out the foundation for a Phase 2 program that will integrate these viewports into the NASA Venus probe program.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary application associated with this program is viewports on Venus probes, however there are many potential applications within NASA and commercially. NASA applications include research facility applications as well as vehicle and probe viewports. Vehicle applications include viewports that allow camera access to monitor vehicle status and operating condition, vehicle surface condition and temperature, and the vehicle's external environment. Camera access to vehicle operation through viewports has been critical for NASA's public relations throughout its history. Probe viewports allow the probe (and its operators) to interact optically with the probes environment, allowing the continued success of many missions. Dazzling photos of other parts of the solar system are responsible for significant support for NASA's activities. Non-technical, but important applications of viewports include sales efforts, employee morale, and accident/insurance investigations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercial applications are focused on two distinct markets that can greatly benefit from harsh environment imaging viewing and instrumental process monitoring. The first is the Imaging/Viewing market that focuses on providing the means to effectively visually monitor inside the boundaries of thermal, chemical, vacuum and pressure systems. Vision is a global, but critically important monitoring process useful for general and specific understanding of visible processes. Optical processing is typically focused on a specific optically detectable parameter, such as temperature, spectroscopic information, or active optical probing, and is used for more direct process control. Optical processing is widely used for automated processes; there is already an established market that can be accessed with superior technology such as that proposed.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Airlocks/Environmental Interfaces
Optical & Photonic Materials

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14