NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Long-Life Validation and Flight Qualification of Nuclear Space Systems Hardware Prior to Flight Use
PROPOSAL TITLE:High Efficiency Three Phase Resonant Conversion for Standardized Architecture Power System Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Colorado Power Electronics, Inc.
120 Commerce Drive, Unit 3
Fort Collins, CO 80524-4731
(970) 482-0191

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Geoff N Drummond
120 Commerce Drive, Unit 3
Fort Collins, CO  80524-4731
(970) 482-0191

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A low-cost, standardized-architecture power system is proposed for NASA electric propulsion (EP) applications. Three approaches are combined to develop a system that will meet current and future NASA needs and exceed currently available power processor unit (PPU) performance in terms of electrical efficiency, specific mass (kg/kW), and cost. The approaches include the use of (a) high-efficiency, 3-phase, dc-dc converters to minimize cooling requirements, mass, and parts count and maximize reliability and efficiency, (b) modularized and standardized sub-system design and fabrication techniques to accommodate power output scaling and re-configuration for specific ion thruster designs without the need to re-qualify hardware, and (c) attention to cost and manufacturability issues that will allow the implementation of electric propulsion systems on future NASA missions without the hidden costs of "hard-to-build" and "hard-to-scale" designs that are currently available.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary market for this technology is for space power conversion where low cost power processing is required. Present technology includes PPU designs with real costs that are much greater than $200k per kilo watt of power. The previous designs show poor reuse of modules and power hardware. Additionally the present PPU designs fail to provide a base structure that can accommodate growth and change in module power. The new design will use lower loss elements to simplify fabrication and reduce cost. The proposed "next generation design" will accommodate the addition and subtraction of modules while conserving PPU mass. The wide output impedance range of the converter will increase utility by allowing one PPU design to power several different thruster types. A successfully completed Phase II program will result in Phase III programs where brass-board PPUs will be provided for NASA missions utilizing NSTAR, enhanced NSTAR, and possibly NEXT thrusters.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA uses for the proposed idea are commercial high power applications where low cost and high efficiency are desired. Again the same advantages apply here. The most notable being the wide utility and range. The LCC circuit gives the 3PRC a naturally wide load range of two to one for voltage; double the range of the best competing design. The three-phase circuitry requires only the most minute input and output filter giving this topology very low mass.

Motor-drive power processors -
Electric Vehicles A wide DC power range maximizes the power range for both the motor and the motor's inverter over a wide span of angular velocities. This wide and efficient range reduces the number of transmission shift cycles needed for rapid acceleration.

Green power -
Solar Power Processors CPE has designed 3PRC with efficiencies as high as 98%

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.

Electrostatic Thrusters
Manned-Manuvering Units
Micro Thrusters
Photovoltaic Conversion
Power Management and Distribution
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Renewable Energy
Ultra-High Density/Low Power

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04