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Sapphire Viewports for a Venus Probe

A document discusses the creation of a viewport suitable for use on the surface of Venus. These viewports are rated for 500 °C and 100 atm pressure with appropriate safety factors and reliability required for incorporation into a Venus Lander. Sapphire windows should easily withstand the chemical, pressure, and temperatures of the Venus surface. Novel fixture designs and seals appropriate to the environment are incorporated, as are materials compatible with exploration vessels. A test cell was fabricated, tested, and leak rate measured. The window features polish specification of the sides and corners, soft metal padding of the sapphire, and a metal C-ring seal. The system safety factor is greater than 2, and standard mechanical design theory was used to size the window, flange, and attachment bolts using available material property data. Maintenance involves simple cleaning of the window aperture surfaces. The only weakness of the system is its moderate rather than low leak rate for vacuum applications.

This work was done by Stephen Bates of Thoughtventions Unlimited for Goddard Space Flight Center. GSC-16095-1

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).

Sapphire Viewports for a Venus Probe (reference GSC-16095-1) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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