NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 S3.07-9379
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Terrestrial and Planetary Balloons
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Temperature Acid Resistant Balloon

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
MER Corporation
7960 S. Kolb Road
Tucson, AZ 85756 - 9237
(520) 574-1980

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Eugene Dyadko
7960 S. Kolb Road
Tucson, AZ 85756 - 9237
(520) 574-1980

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
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 current topic 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.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
All extra terrestrial missions, which require lightweight materials for inflatables (balloons, bellows, ballutes, etc.) resistant against elevated temperatures and unfriendly environments, which can also withstand relatively high mechanical loads (including impacts) and retain strength at elevated temperatures. The proposed technology may also be used in all cases where high strength joints of thin films are required.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed processing to bond thin metal foils into a sealed/inflatable object may be used to produce Earth atmospheric balloons and lightweight life rafts for Navy, Air Force and civilian needs.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12