NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 S2.02-8160
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Extreme High Temperature/High Pressure Environment
PROPOSAL TITLE:High Temperature All Silicon-Carbide (SiC) DC Motor Drives for Venus Exploration Vehicles

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ARKANSAS POWER ELECTRONICS INTERNATIONAL, INC.
700 W Research Blvd
Fayetteville ,AR 72701 - 7174
(479) 443 - 5759

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Alexander   Lostetter
alostet@apei.net
700 W Research Blvd
Fayetteville, AR  72701 -7174
(479) 443 - 5759

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project seeks to prove the feasibility of creating high-temperature silicon-carbide (SiC) based motor drives for extreme environment exploratory robotic missions (such as Venus landers). SiC digital control ICs will be developed for controlling power electronics systems (such as motor drives) and integrated with SiC power switches into a multichip power module (MCPM) capable of reliably operating within extreme environments such as the surface of Venus without shielding. Avoiding complicated advanced active thermal management strategies not only improves reliability, but significantly reduces the complexity, weight, and volume of the overall electronics systems. SiC power electronics offer other potential advantages over silicon as well, including 1/10th the switching losses, 10? the power density, 10? the breakdown voltage, and switching frequencies into the 10s of GHz range. All of these advantages offer the potential to develop highly miniaturized, highly reliable, low weight extreme environment power electronics drive systems that can be integrated directly with DC motors or actuators.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Venus robotic atmospheric probes and landers would require DC motors and/or actuators in order to perform a wide variety of functions; from moving and controlling robotic arms and hands, to driving soil sample drills, to providing traction for surface propulsion. The majority of these motor systems would be external to the protection of the probe or lander core unit. The ability to integrate the motor drive electronics directly with the motors in this environment, without the protection of the core electronics shielding system, has the potential to significantly reduce the complexity and weight while improving the reliability of the mechanical robotic components. The development of this technology could also benefit NASA in a wide range of other applications, including significantly reducing the size and weight of power electronics converters for the power managements systems required in satellites or spacecraft.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Within a few years time, SiC power devices will be available for use in a wide-range of applications for industrial, commercial, and military purposes. The ability to operate in harsh environments or at high temperatures makes the technology immediately attractive for military motor drive applications (such as for electric-hybrid vehicles or jet turbine units), industrial deep earth geological exploration (such as deep well seismic sources), low-weight, high performance applications (such as DC-DC converters for spacecraft and satellites), and commercial electric vehicles (such as in conjunction with high-temperature fuel cells). Any power electronics application that would see improvement with higher switching frequencies, increased efficiency, or reduced size and weight would benefit from the use of SiC technology. Due to this potential, the State of Arkansas has committed to providing state matching funds at a rate of $1 state to $3 federal throughout the complete duration of this project (Phase I ? Phase III).

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Power Management and Distribution
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials
Ultra-High Density/Low Power


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12