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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Very Low-Cost, Rugged, High-Vacuum System for Mass Spectrometers, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Very Low-Cost, Rugged, High-Vacuum System for Mass Spectrometers, Phase II
NASA, the DoD, DHS, and commercial industry have a pressing need for miniaturized, rugged, low-cost, high vacuum systems. Recent advances in sensor technology at NASA and other government laboratories, in academia, and in industry have led to the development of very small mass spectrometer detectors, as well as other analytical instruments needing high vacuum, such as scanning electron microscopes. However, the vacuum systems to support these sensors remain large, heavy, and power hungry. To meet this need, Creare proposes to build a miniaturized vacuum system based on a very small, rugged, and inexpensive-to-manufacture, molecular drag pump (MDP). The MDP is enabled by the development of a miniature, very high-speed (200,000 RPM), rugged, low-power, brushless, DC motor which will be optimized for wide temperature operation and long life during this project. The vacuum pump has performance that is well matched to the needs of the new generation of miniature analytical instruments. The pump represents an order-of-magnitude reduction in mass, volume, and cost over current, commercially available, state-of-the-art vacuum pumps. The new pump will form the heart of a complete vacuum system optimized to support analytical instruments in terrestrial applications as well as on spacecraft and planetary landers. Furthermore, the miniature high-speed motor will be designed so that it can be used in a wide range of high vacuum pumps, including pure molecular drag, pure turbomolecular, and hybrid turbomolecular/molecular drag pumps that can be tailored to the requirements of specific missions and applications. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.