NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Command and Data Handling
PROPOSAL TITLE:Configurable Radiation Hardened High Speed Isolated Interface ASIC

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
11409 Valley View Road
Eden Prairie ,MN 55344 - 3617
(952) 996 - 1602

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Myers   John
11409 Valley View Road
Eden Prairie, MN  55344 -3617
(952) 996 - 1610

NVE Corporation will design and build an innovative, low cost, flexible, configurable, radiation hardened, galvanically isolated, interface ASIC chip set that will reduce power consumption, enable high efficiency power conversion management, highly integrate existing discrete solutions, enable precision isolated data conversion and communication, save weight and footprint and be more immune to radiation than the existing optocoupler technology solution. The proposed chip set configurations will interface with many communication protocols and data signaling applications. This flexible configuration enables variant uses of the silicon, increases circuit and application flexibility, allows protected, isolated interfaces between systems, and increases overall system speed and reliability while reducing complexity. A key challenge is to successfully integrate NVE's commercialized Giant Magneto-Resistive (GMR) based post processing IsoLoopREG technology with radiation hardened or radiation tolerant under-layer circuits. NVE has shipped millions CMOS-based commercial units using this concept. GMR material, configured into magnetically sensitive resistors, is inherently radiation hard. Customers have tested the basic sense element to a dose rate of 1.1E+12 rads(Si)/sec. without failure. NASA Goddard (Robert Reed) tested commercial IsoLoop products to a fluence of 1x107 ions/cm2.and observed no upsets. James Lyke of AFRL/VSEE will advise and assist NVE on the program.

This project will prove the feasibility of large scale implementation of NVE's Isoloop technology for use in radiation-hardened applications. This market would be confined to commercial and military space and weapons based military programs. While the number of applications probably numbers in the thousands, the volumes are not huge, due to the relatively low volumes of military black boxes with radiation-hardened requirements. This specific commercial market potential is estimated to approximate $50M. If the project is successful, it could lead to a product that can solve this technological problem and expand and create new markets.

There are several other applications that could be explored. The first ones are commercial applications where radiation is an issue. One potential peripheral market is the medical instrumentation area, where radiation is used for sterilization of devices. Standard devices cannot be cleaned with this technique as the electronics will shift to the point of not operating. The second one is within the containment of nuclear power plants. NVE sensors have recently been employed within containment to perform eddy current-based scans of the heads. Existing circuit isolation is opto-isolators which is slow and prone to occasional error. The last market area that will be examined is the high temperature market (200 deg C+). This market is small but required in oil exploration.

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.

Architectures and Networks
Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Control Instrumentation
Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
Data Input/Output Devices
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
On-Board Computing and Data Management
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools
Power Management and Distribution
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Telemetry, Tracking and Control
Ultra-High Density/Low Power

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12