NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Low Temperature, Radiation Hardened Avionics
PROPOSAL TITLE:Electronic Modeling and Design for Extreme Temperatures

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
CoolCAD Electronics
7101 Poplar Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912-4671
(301) 270-9211

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James M McGarrity
1334 Patuxent Dr.
Ashton, MD  20912-4671
(301) 774-4379

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose to develop electronics for operation at temperatures that range from -230oC to +130oC. This new technology will minimize the requirements for external heat sources that are currently necessary for operation of low-temperature electronics. Such technology would significantly improve reliability, performance, lifetime of electronics that are used for space applications, including satellites and space travel. This will be achieved through the development of unique circuits that are derived from novel physics based device and circuit modeling techniques and verified by experiment. Statistical methods will be employed to connect the resistive heating caused by individual devices to heating of the entire integrated circuit. Special algorithms will be further developed which allow for determination of operating conditions where the intrinsic operation of the circuit will allow for sufficient heat generation to eliminate carrier freeze-out and efficient operation of integrated circuits in environments ranging from -230oC to +130oC. For situations where intrinsic circuit resistive heating at cryogenic temperatures is insufficient to overcome carrier freeze out, we will design on-chip micro-heaters to provide direct heating to chips at the submicron device level. Thermal modeling of packaging will also be performed. With the intrinsic temperature control established, we will design specific single electron latchup immune circuits for application extreme environments.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
We propose to develop extreme temperature electronics which are especially applicable for space missions. We propose to develop physics-based transistor device models valid at temperatures ranging from -230oC to +130oC. We propose to incorporate these device modeling results into Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools for predicting the electrical performance, reliability, and life cycle for low-temperature electronic systems and components. We also propose to develop low-temperature (-230oC) circuit design methodologies facilitating novel layout designs for integrated mixed-signal and analog circuits. We plan to design radiation-tolerant and SEL immune, low power, mixed-signal circuits including analog-to-digital converters and band-gap references. We will investigate high-density packaging able to survive large numbers of thermal cycles (hundreds) and tolerant of the extreme temperatures of the Moon and Mars. We plan to design radiation-tolerant, SEL immune, wide temperature (-180oC to +130oC), and ultra-low temperature (-230oC) RF electronics for short range and long-range communication systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The physics-based device models can be used to predict transistor heating at any temperature. This can be used in conjunction with our chip heating model to determine the thermal profiles of integrated circuits for any given ambient conditions. These calculations can then be used to offer new device and chip layout paradigms that are optimized for specialized operation. More specifically, understanding of cryogenic device and chip operation can result in reliable and efficient low temperature electronics. Furthermore, since a major objective of our work is to develop methodologies for efficient thermal management of electronics, the proposed work has broad application in high-density electronics, which continues to operate at higher and higher temperatures, i.e. Pentium processors. Furthermore, the need to operate electronics in extreme environments such as vehicle engines, and power systems, will continue to expand. The technology developed in the proposal will aid in design of electronics in such environments.

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.

Control Instrumentation
Earth-Supplied Resource Utilization
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
On-Board Computing and Data Management
Pilot Support Systems
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools
Portable Life Support
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Simulation Modeling Environment
Spaceport Infrastructure and Safety
Telemetry, Tracking and Control
Testing Requirements and Architectures
Thermal Insulating Materials

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19