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SBIR/STTR

High Temperature Stirling Cooler, Phase I

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Although Honeybee and others have made huge advances in developing mechanisms, motors, and electronics for use in high temperature/high pressure environments such as the surface of Venus (460C), certain types of critical electronic and sensing technologies are inherently temperature sensitive. The lack of high temperature tolerat cameras and optical sensors has, to date, prevented up-close in-situ analysis of the Venusian surface. In this SBIR we will close that technology gap by developing a miniature Stirling cooler, suitable for integration with a sensor package at the end of an effector or robot arm, which is capable of keeping conventional electronics cool outside of the spacecraft body in the high temperature Venus environment. This advance would vastly expand the list of technologies which can be deployed on the surface of Venus, and correspondingly advance the types of science that can be performed. We will demonstrate in Phase-I a brassboard system at high temperature, followed by a flight like system in full Venusian conditions in Phase-II. More »

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