NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 21.02-1411

PROJECT TITLE: "Smart" Power Panel

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

By integrating two or more functions into load-bearing structure, spacecraft size and mass can be drastically reduced. ITN is currently developing a number of thin-film power system and supporting technologies which could be integrated with the spacecraft structure to create a multifunctional "Smart" Power Panel (SPP). ITN proposes herein a revolutionary integrated structural panel comprising thin-film battery in structural core, thin-film charge control electronics flex-circuit, thin-film photovoltaics, integral radiation protection coatings, and high conductivity, composite facesheets for thermal management. Key advantages of our SPP concept, compared to a conventional power subsystem with separate solar array, battery, and power electronics components, include the following: - reduced launch mass and volume, and thus the number of launches to deploy a given system - reduced integration procedures; assembly of spacecraft also integrates the power subsystem - reduced mass of "parasitic/low value" structural elements.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The proposed "Smart" Power Panel system can be spun-off into either military or civilian applications. The commercial spacecraft and aircraft industries could obviously benefit, however, there is also huge terrestrial potential. SPP could replace or augment diesel generators, thereby reducing fuel resupply demands, and noise and IR signatures. It may also be used as a self sufficient power source for third world regions. If SPP can be produced very cost-effectively, it could be implemented in villages where access to the main power grid is not economically feasible.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Jeffrey Summers
ITN Energy Systems, Inc.
12401 West 49th Avenue
Wheat Ridge , CO 80033

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

ITN Energy Systems, Inc.
12401 West 49th Avenue
Wheat Ridge , CO 80033