Low Conductance Silicon Micro leak for Mass Spectrometer Inlet

Mass spectrometers on atmospheric entry probes require a method for introducing gas from high pressure ambient regions to the vacuum of the mass spectrometer interior.
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Description

A method for producing a low conductance gas inlet for a mass spectrometer

Mass spectrometers on atmospheric entry probes require a method for introducing gas from high pressure ambient regions to the vacuum of the mass spectrometer interior. This necessitates a very low conductance calibrated leak. Ideally, such a leak would be fabricated from nonreactive materials and would consist of several parallel channels for immunity from clogging.

Past methods of producing microleaks have been problematic due to crimped metal tubes that are difficult to control and calibrate and have been prone to clogging with droplets , and materials used are differentially reactive with various gas constituents and thus distort the gas mixture to be analyzed.

A method for producing a low conductance gas inlet for a mass spectrometer has been developed.

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Project Detail
Date:
November 8, 2016
Patent:
2017-9
Place of Invention:
Goddard Space Flight Center