NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation
FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY
|PROPOSAL NUMBER:||16-2 S3.03-7420|
|PHASE 1 CONTRACT NUMBER:||NNX16CC56P|
|SUBTOPIC TITLE:||Power Electronics and Management, and Energy Storage|
|PROPOSAL TITLE:||Ultracapacitor Based Power Supply for CubeSats|
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
FastCAP Systems Corporation
21 Drydock Avenue
Boston, MA 02210 - 2384
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
21 Drydock Avenue
Boston, MA 02210 - 2384
(857) 239-7500 Extension :118
CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
21 Drydock Avenue, 8FL
Boston, MA 02210 - 2384
(857) 239-7500 Extension :102
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Power Electronics and Management, and Energy Storage 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)
Traditionally, the relatively small surface area and volume of a cube satellite has restricted the practical power limit of cube satellites. To the extent that the power will be generated by solar panels, cube satellites have a limited round trip energy budget. Increasing solar panel efficiency and complexity alleviates the energy issue to some degree. Both however, occur at the expense of the original cube satellite advantages of being inexpensive, small, and reliable. As such, the objective of high power capabilities must also assume fairly short time scales in order to preserve the energy budget. It's this mode of operation, maximum energy and short high power events, where hybrid system designs typically make practical sense.
In all cases, the energy storage requirements will depend on the payloads power profile and mission requirements. Cube satellite payloads are becoming more sophisticated and, in many cases, power hungry. Interesting high power payloads currently in development for small satellites include Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and mechanical actuators for performing larger satellite maintenance. In order to continue the trend of increasing cube satellite capabilities, it's important to be ready with energy storage that is both capable of supplying high power and flexible to suit the range of payload possibilities.
The hybrid ultracapacitor module proposed is a flexible, high efficiency, novel design that will enable satellite engineers to quickly and easily realize benefits such as extended battery lifetime, high peak power, and smaller size and weight that may be possible through a hybrid energy storage system. Additionally, the technology will translate to additional multifunctional, structural applications such as microsatellites, light aircraft, ordinance, and many more.
POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Hybrid ultracapacitor power supplies enable high power density well beyond traditional capabilities of bulk Li-Ion battery storage. The targeted application that this proposal will focus on is a high power (> 100W) HPS for integration into CubeSats. The CubeSat platform was chosen for its inherent size and weight restrictions and as a relatively low cost and standardized platform for this new technology. Future development of ultracapacitor based HPS systems will leverage the size, weight, and performance benefits demonstrated on the CubeSat platform for expansion into larger more powerful systems.
Beyond cube satellites, hybrid power systems have applications in which there are high peak power but relatively low average power demands. Such systems include microsatellites, motor actuation, stage separation, burst radar and communication systems, and pulsed laser systems.
The multifunctional structural technology included in the ultracapacitor cell and module design have numerous NASA applications. Multifunctional energy storage design seeks to improve overall energy and power density by incorporating energy storage into devices that traditionally serve a different function. The cell under development is a structural cell that may be incorporated into structures such as airplane housings for light electric aircraft, satellite frames, actuator casings, and many more. With a high temperature chemistry, the cell may also be used for heat sinking and back-up power storage.
POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The cube satellite platform is a fast growing market both in academia and industry. Many companies are also growing to develop larger microsatellites as the technology and business is proven on cube satellites. This technology is easily translated to all cube satellite and microsatellite developers.
Beyond satellites, the multifunctional structural technology has garnered a significant amount of interest by other government groups and companies for a wide range of application. The structural technology is able to conform to custom shapes to provide high efficiency, long life cycle energy storage in areas where it was impractical to do so previously. For example, the cell may be shaped to conform to void spaces in small aircraft such as drones and ordinance missiles. With FastCap's high temperature electrode and electrolyte, the same technology can be used as heat sinks for power loss back up supplies on memory and computation boards. With the progression of light aircraft and electric automobiles, the structural cell is being considered to drastically improve system level energy and power density. Additionally, long lifetime and ultra-high reliability system such as smart weaponry and land mines are beginning to realize the benefits of a ruggedized structural cell for pulse communication, actuation, and ignition. FastCap is aggressively pursuing all of these opportunities with Phase II funding a critical element in achieving their technological goals.
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.)
Actuators & Motors
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)