Gas introduction from near-ambient pressures to high vacuum traditionally is accomplished either by multi-stage differential pumping that allows for very rapid response, or by a capillary method that allows for a simple, single-stage introduction, but which often has a delayed response. Another means to introduce the gas sample is to use the multi-stage design with only a single-stage. This is accomplished by using a very small conductance limit. The problem with this method is that a small conductance limit will amplify issues associated with dead-volume.
As a result, a high-vacuum gas inlet was developed with low dead-volume, allowing the use of a very low conductance limit interface. Gas flows through the ConFlat flange at a relatively high flow rate at orders of magnitude greater than through the conductance limit. The small flow goes through a conductance limit that is a double-sided ConFlat.
This work was done by Guy Naylor and C. Arkin of ASRC Aerospace Corporation for Kennedy Space Center. For further information, contact the Kennedy Innovative Partnerships Program Office at (321) 861- 7158. KSC-13317