NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05-II S6.07-9233
PHASE-I CONTRACT NUMBER: NNM06AA40C
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Thermal Control for Instruments
PROPOSAL TITLE:High-Conductance Thermal Interfaces Based on Carbon Nanotubes

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Creare Inc
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755-0071
(603) 643-3800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jay   Rozzi
jcr@creare.com
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH  03755-0071
(603) 643-3800

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The new devices and missions to achieve the aims of the NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) are creating increasingly demanding thermal environments and applications. A key element that drives the design of thermal management systems in these demanding applications is the thermal interface material (TIM) between mating surfaces. Our innovation is a novel, vacuum-compatible, durable, heat-conduction interface that employs carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays directly anchored on the mating metal surfaces via microwave plasma-enhanced, chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). By directly anchoring the CNTs to the metal surface, the joint conductance is substantially increased over current TIMs due to the elimination of thermal contact resistance at the metal surface-TIM interface. During the Phase I project, we demonstrated thermal resistance values of approximately 35 mm2 K/W at a contact pressure of 0.7 MPa in testing at Creare for a direct-deposited, CNT-based, thermal interface on copper substrates. Using this approach, our team partner has demonstrated thermal resistance values as low as 8 mm2 K/W, demonstrating the remarkable potential of this innovation. The use of our innovative CNT-based TIMs will enable increased reliability, decreased size, and increased performance of spaceborne thermal management systems for the SMD.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Thermal management of spaceborne components is a key technology driver for NASA. The new devices and missions to achieve the aims of the SMD are creating increasingly demanding thermal environments that are driven by several mission-based requirements: the increased integration of the thermal system with the mechanical and optical components; the increasing size and decreasing temperature of spacecraft optics; the use of a fleet of spacecraft or robots that share resources; and the potential use of high temperature and high flux heat sources. A key element that drives the design of thermal management systems in these demanding applications is the thermal interface material (TIM) between mating surfaces. Some examples of current applications where TIMs play a vital role include thermal switches, high-power solid-state lasers, retro-fitted cooling systems for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and electrical components.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A developed CNT-based thermal interface material (TIM) would have wide commercial applications particularly with respect to high power electronics and laser systems. For ground-based laser and high power systems, the heat exchangers, chillers, and other thermal management components make up the majority of the system size and weight. Our innovation could be a key element in reducing the footprint of these systems and increasing their applicability in communications, power facilities, and other challenging thermal management applications. Future applications may also include high power microprocessors in rack-mounted servers and high power electronics used for actuators, motor controllers, and power distribution.

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
Cooling
Fluid Storage and Handling
High-Energy
Power Management and Distribution


Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04