NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Energy Conversion and Power Electronics for Deep Space Missions
PROPOSAL TITLE:Efficient Thermally Stable Spectral Control Filters for Thermophotovoltaics

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Rugate Technologies Inc
353 Christian Street
Oxford, CT 06478-1053
(203) 267-3154

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Thomas D Rahmlow, Jr.
353 Christian Street
Oxford, CT  06478-1053
(203) 267-3154

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The feasibility of radioisotope thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) power systems has been shown. The best efficiencies reported to date for a TPV module test include front surface spectral control filters. This program will address the technical challenges to developing and qualifying highly efficient spectral control filters that can survive high temperatures(above 150 degrees C)for long periods of time. In earlier work, we have identified thermally stable filter materials and demonstrated their use as high index filter materials, however they are quite sensitive to deposition conditions. In this program, we will (1)optimize deposition conditions to improve reliability, repeatability, uniformity, and filter performance, (2)develop and optimize filter designs for radioisotope power, (3)conduct extended high temperature, long life, radiation, and environmental durability testing, (4)identify other potential high temperature materials, (5) address the use of multiple spectral control architectures including spectrally selective emitters, back surface reflectors (BSR) and photonic crystals, and (5) integrate the spectral control architectures with RTPV technology to address NASA missions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Exploration goals for the moon, Mars and the planets require the ability to move about on the surface at will and perform the required science and engineering tasks. Concepts for returning to the moon require the construction of a lunar base and full operational readiness of that base before any manned missions are made. Power systems for rovers and robot explorers are a key to meeting mission goals. Radioisotope power systems (RPS) offer the advantage of long duration operation (7 to 14 years), operation without regard to solar lighting conditions or shadows and without regard to low external temperatures. Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) RPS direct energy power converters take advantage of recent developments for high efficiency TPV cells, spectral control filters and spectrally selective emitters. The TPV RPS has no moving parts. It can be constructed to withstand high mechanical shock and the 'G' forces of landing or a potential 'driving' accident.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
TPV energy conversion systems have no moving parts and are, therefore, very quiet and reliable. TPV systems are suitable for portable generation of electricity for remote sites or on boats or recreational vehicles. TPV can be combined with solar photovoltaics (PV) to provide electricity 24 hours a day. This program seeks to improve efficiency and thermal stability, as well as reduce TPV cost. As TPV efficiency improves and cost decreases it will find commercial applications such as recovering industrial heat waste, as a replacement for an automobile alternator, and in hybrid electric vehicles. High efficiency TPV can be a cleaner, more efficient solution to the growing electric generation concerns.

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.

Nuclear Conversion
Optical & Photonic Materials
Photovoltaic Conversion
Power Management and Distribution

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19