In-situ instrumentation is needed that can withstand the harsh environments imposed by planetary atmospheres in order to make advancements in solar system exploration. Technologies that can withstand the corrosive/caustic gases, radiation levels, stresses, and high temperatures and pressures, while still producing reliable, real-time data are a major facilitator for planetary missions. To address this need, Sporian is developing a harsh environment pressure sensor targeted toward the Glenn Extreme Environment Rig (GEER) and future Venus probe spacecraft. The proposed technology will be beneficial to NASA’s planetary science mission by facilitating, environmental chamber testing/validation, and pressure measurements in the Venus atmosphere and on the surface. The Phase I effort focused on heavily leveraging prior harsh environment, in-situ instrumentation development and, with input from current/prior NASA partners, successfully constructing and characterizing prototype sensor suites. Phase II efforts will include: continuing to work with stakeholders to guide technology development; developing processes and design required to realize next generation sensors; multiple generations of prototyping; and application environment relevant testing.
A harsh environment sensor that can provide real-time pressure information has the potential to provide major advancements in planetary science. The technology will target the Glenn Extreme Environment Rig and its capability to mimic planetary conditions such as those on Venus, but be directly applicable to both current and future NASA programs/directorates, and facilitate innovations in vehicle performance monitoring, environmental testing, and atmospheric characterization of planetary bodies.
Aero propulsion turbine engines would benefit significantly by having an on engine pressure sensor for monitoring turbine engine conditions. Additional potential market areas include: marine propulsion, rail locomotives, land based power generation turbines, automotive, oil and gas refining, nuclear power generation, concentrating solar power systems, and government and academic laboratories.