NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 S3.04-8940
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Propulsion Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Silicon Carbide (SiC) Power Processing Unit (PPU) for Hall Effect Thrusters

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Arkansas Power Electronics International, Inc.
535 W. Research Center Blvd., Suite 209
Fayetteville, AR 72701 - 7175
(479) 443-5759

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Bradley Reese
535 W. Research Center Blvd.
Fayetteville, AR 72701 - 7175
(479) 443-5759 Extension :8250

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In this SBIR project, APEI, Inc. is proposing to develop a high efficiency, rad-hard 3.8 kW silicon carbide (SiC) power supply for the Power Processing Unit (PPU) of Hall Effect thrusters. This program specifically targets the design of a PPU for the HiVHAC (High Voltage Hall ACcelerator) thruster, with target specifications of 80-160V input, 200-700V / 5A output, efficiency greater than 96%, and peak power density in excess of 2.5 kW/kg. The PPU under development utilizes SiC JFET power switches; components which APEI, Inc. has irradiated under TID conditions to greater than 3 MRad with little to zero change in device performance.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are a wide range of applications within NASA on which SiC ultra-lightweight power converters could make a significant impact, including:

Satellite & spacecraft power management systems— SiC converter technology that is more efficient than silicon and offers reduced weight and volume would find application in nearly every power management system in space.

Satellite & spacecraft motors and actuators— Most spacecraft contain a multitude of actuators and motors to perform various functions, such as opening and rotating solar array panels, controlling robotic arms, aligning communications arrays, pointing cameras and instruments, etc.

Extreme environment exploratory vehicles— While one advantage of SiC technology is to achieve higher power densities through high temperature operation, the other utilization of the technology is to operate in high temperature environments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
APEI, Inc. has identified two key applications where the proposed technology is also applicable namely, high voltage hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) battery packs, and photovoltaic energy systems. These two applications open up a path to non-military commercialization of the technology which can mean huge dividends for APEI, Inc. Other applications include Energy Exploration, Industrial Motor Drives, Electric Vehicle Motor Drives, and Military Systems.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Electromagnetic Thrusters
Electrostatic Thrusters
Power Management and Distribution
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Ultra-High Density/Low Power

Form Generated on 08-06-10 17:29