NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 S4.02-9279
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Extreme Environment and Aerial Mobility
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Temperature Telemetry Transmitter for Venus Exploration

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Softronics Ltd.
6920 Bowman Lane NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-1576
(319)431-0314

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert Sternowski
bobs@softronicsltd.com
6920 Bowman Lane NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-1576
(319)431-0314

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The proposed S-band telemetry transmitter will operate in the exterior Venusian corrosive, high pressure, 460oC ambient atmosphere without being contained in a thermally protective container. The sealed, radiation-hardened, high-reliability, silicon-carbide-based transmitter uses an ambient heatsink to cool its single high temperature transistor without the power, volume, and weight of auxiliary cooling. An innovative circuit architecture requires only one semiconductor device; other components are ceramic or temperature-compensated machined metal parts. Operating life on Venus is limited only by the external power source and acid erosion of the case; several months is anticipated. The transmitter accepts digital data and primary power in, and provides radio power out to its antenna. The transmitter's 10 watt RF output power to an integral omnidirectional antenna provides ample link margin for 50 kbps to a 2000 mile altitude relay satellite, and may be linearly scaled in power, data rate, and/or range as desired. Our proposed solution includes the complete communications system design and analysis, including modulation, link power budget, receiver, and antenna. This solution can also be applied to very cold Titan-like applications as well.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Applications include micro/nano/pico satellites requiring light weight and small size operating at MEO/GEO radiation exposure altitudes where SiC components will survive. Excellent scheme for general planetary exploration harsh environments, both hot and cold.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Applications include petroleum "down-hole" telemetry where environment is very similar to Venusian heat, pressure and acidity. The evolution of solid state power oscillators may open a new set of consumer and industrial products where a smaller, lighter solid state unit can replace a traditional heavy, large tube oscillator and transformer power supply. Similar DoD applications for low cost, expendable solid state high power oscillators and telemetry systems capable of high temperature operation.