NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Extreme Environment Electronics/SEE
PROPOSAL TITLE:DC-Motor Drive Encompassing SiGe Asynchronous Control Electronics for Ultra-Wide (-230 C to +130 C) Environments

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Arkansas Power Electronics International, Inc.
535 W. Research Blvd., Suite 209
Fayetteville, AR 72701-7174
(479) 443-5759

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Roberto M Schupbach
535 W. Research Center Blvd., Suite 209
Fayetteville, AR  72701-7174
(479) 443-5759

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In Phase I, the research team formed by APEI, Inc. and University of Arkansas proved the feasibility of developing ultra-wide temperature (-230 oC to +130 oC) motor drives utilizing silicon-germanium (SiGe) asynchronous logic digital control electronics by the successful design, simulation and layout of an insensitive-delay asynchronous microcontroller. The microcontroller incorporates asynchronous-to-synchronous and synchronous-to-asynchronous interfaces (wrappers) using an IBM SiGe 5AM process. The complete asynchronous microcontroller was successfully simulated using temperature calibrated models to -230 C. Electronic components needed in the development of the DC-motor power stage were first characterized down to -184 C and then a complete 20W DC-motor drive power stage was successfully demonstrated while operating at cryogenic temperatures and driving a Maxon RE 25 permanent magnet DC-motor at full power (This motor is currently used on the Mars Spirit and Opportunity rovers).

Ultra-wide temperature power electronics system will have a profound impact on deep space exploration craft enabling greater mobility and mission lifetime. The use of ultra-wide temperature power electronics will allow increased payload capacity of Lunar and Mars exploratory craft, while improving reliability through reduced system level complexity. The goal of this Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project is to deliver, to NASA JPL, a complete DC-motor drive that is fully functional over the entire temperature range required for lunar and Martian extreme environment exploratory robotic missions (-230 C to +130 C). This cryogenic DC-motor drive will encompass a SiGe-based 8051-compatible delay-insensitive asynchronous microcontroller with significantly enhanced capabilities for the advanced control of the DC-motor drive.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The first market for this technology will be in the power electronics systems of NASA Lunar and Martian science missions and deep space exploration vehicles, including spacecraft, balloons, rockets, and aircraft. APEI, Inc. plans to develop the technology throughout Phases I, II, and III with this purpose and goal in mind. There are a wide range of NASA applications in which this technology could significantly improve performance and/or reduce launch costs. Ultra-wide temperature electronics will eliminate (or reduce) the need for thermal control reducing size, weight, and power usage. This will enable greater mobility and lifetime for surface exploration craft. This technology can be also used on space-based observatories, such as the Next-Generation Space Telescope that need actuators and drives to operate at deep cryogenic temperatures. Deep space missions would greatly benefit from high density light-weight power management and electronics systems. There are, however, a number of other applications beyond NASA that would find this technology extremely valuable.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential new applications for this technology are found in the commercial avionics, medical, and defense sectors. The avionics industry is actively pursuing the development of extreme temperature electronics for sensors, radio-frequency power amplifiers, and actuators/motor drive application. This technology has the potential of simplifying the design of the next generation of crafts and commercial satellites, expanding their current capabilities. The medical fields and the defense sectors have particular interest in extreme temperature electronics since it has the potential of impacting several areas such as magnetic resonance imaging, particle accelerators, etc. This technology can also foster other research fields such as superconducting (i.e., cryogenic) power transmission and distribution, superconducting motors and generators, etc. It should be reemphasized that APEI, Inc. is in discussion with British Aerospace regarding technology transfer for both NASA and non-NASA applications, and as such, BAE has provided a letter of support indicating their view that this is a critical technology need in the industry.

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.

Integrated Robotic Concepts and Systems
On-Board Computing and Data Management
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Ultra-High Density/Low Power

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04