NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 Z20.01-9350
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Deep Space Cubesat Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Power Betavoltaic Technology

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
MicroLink Devices, Inc.
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Glen Hillier
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001 Extension :11

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Noren Pan
6457 Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714 - 3301
(847) 588-3001 Extension :13

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Deep Space Cubesat Technology is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The proposed innovation will dramatically improve the performance of tritium-powered betavoltaic batteries through the development of a high-aspect ratio, expanded surface area p/n junction composed of indium gallium phosphide. The enhanced surface area features will be built using reactive ion etch (RIE) modified germanium substrates via metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). The proposed 3-dimensional betavoltaic p/n junction will provide a cost saving of up to 90%, while increasing energy density to up to ten times that of lithium batteries. Such an advanced semiconductor device will produce much higher power outputs than are possible with existing state-of-the-art devices. It will provide the battery a life span in excess of 20 years with the broad-range temperature-insensitivity benefits normally associated with betavoltaics. This increased power/energy density for tritium betavoltaics will open up pathways for significant advances in power solutions for diminutive sized, low-power microelectronic devices that may be used in Cubesat and in-space power systems. Example applications include microwatt-to-milliwatt autonomous 20+ year sensors/microelectronics for use in structural monitoring, mesh networks, tagging and tracking wireless sensors, medical device implants, and deep space power where solar is not easily available. Tritium betavoltaics are capable of addressing this power niche for devices requiring reliable, uninterrupted power through extremes of temperature, longevity and diminutive form factors where traditional batteries cannot operate.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
For high value deep space missions, it may be possible for this technology to provide a cost-effective amount of the total power requirements for a 20+ year mission. Betavoltaic cells are capable of producing up to 1 microwatt/cm2 and will power commercial-off-the-shelf microcontrollers such as the Texas Instruments MSP-430 and similar electronics. Furthermore, it would provide a power density of 50-100 microwatts per cubic centimeter and an energy density roughly equivalent to 5-10 watt hours/cm3 integrated over 20 years, which is 5-10 times the energy density of highest energy-density lithium batteries!

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Other government agencies that would benefit from high power betavoltaic batteries are:
- Battery back-up power for FPGA encryption keys used in many defense and security applications
- Domestic anti-tamper for defense applications
- Nuclear storage/ device monitoring for defense applications

Commercial markets that are of interest include:
- Satellite power supplies, including cubesats
- SRAM (static random access memory) volatile memory

It should be noted that City Labs has sold prototype and commercial batteries into select high value markets with premium customers such as Lockheed Martin, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
- Sensors
- Medical bionics/ implants

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.)
Coatings/Surface Treatments
Manufacturing Methods
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Microfabrication (and smaller; see also Electronics; Mechanical Systems; Photonics)

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37