NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X11.01-9722
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Thermal Control for Surface Systems and Spacecraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Performance Low Mass Nanowire Enabled Heatpipe

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Illuminex Corporation
1064 New Holland Ave.
Lancaster , PA 17601 - 5606
(717) 295-3746

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Youssef Habib
1064 New Holland Ave.
Lancaster , PA 17601 - 5606
(717) 295-3746

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract:

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Illuminex Corporation proposes a NASA Phase I SBIR project to develop high performance, lightweight, low-profile heat pipes with enhanced thermal transfer properties enabled by utilizing copper nanowire arrays as the wick material in the heat pipe. Thermal management is a critical issue for advanced electronic and optical systems as current cooling techniques are being rapidly outpaced by the heat load of new technologies. Superior thermal control technologies are needed both for NASA's science spacecraft components and commercial products such as computers and medical lasers. The incorporation of nano-structured materials in heat pipe manufacturing will allow the development of thermal management devices with increased heat dissipation efficiency and a reduced size and weight profile as compared to currently utilized cooling approaches. Illuminex will develop processes to engineer the nanowire wick directly onto the heat pipe package, and using this approach, it s envisioned that heat pipe systems can be manufactured directly into the housings of devices requiring advanced thermal management. This nanotechnology enabled miniaturization can be further size reduced to near the MEMS level for cooling micro-electronics and sensors. Phase II will lead to full commercialization and manufacturing of high performance, low profile, and lightweight heat pipes.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Heat pipes are passive, two-phase closed loop systems used for temperature regulation in electronic, power generation/conversion, and optical systems. They require no maintenance and consume no power, making them attractive components for space vehicles, satellites, and astronaut support systems. Illuminex innovation will result in size and weight reductions over current devices. Currently, NASA is developing nuclear electric propulsion systems for long-duration space missions like the Jupiter Icy Moon Orbital mission. Heat pipes are proposed for the transfer of waste heat from the power generation systems and for use in the radiator systems used for the dissipation of the waste heat. Heat pipe thermal control technology has also been proposed for electric power generation for a lunar habitat, for the Space Solar Power Project, and spacecraft thermal control. Improved capillary pumping capabilities in zero gravity and under acceleration in nanowire heat pipes could prove valuable in space applications where gravity assisted systems are not functional.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The thermal characteristics of high-power-density CPUs in today's high-end computing applications are rapidly outpacing the cooling capabilities of commercially available strategies. The primary devices driving the market for nanowire heat pipes are high performance microprocessors. Technological advances in thermal control are needed to accommodate rising power densities in new electronic and optical devices and a steady replacement of traditional heat sinks by hybrid heat sinks with embedded heat pipes. The initial market for the nanowire array wick heat pipes will be the niche market of high end specialty heat pipes designed for military and aerospace applications including laser, radar and antenna systems. The next anticipated specialty market is thermal management in high end servers, followed by portable computers and other electronic consumer goods. Illuminex has partnered with Thermacore Inc., the largest North American manufacturer and distributor of heat pipes to bring the advanced nanowire heat pipe technology to the market.

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.


Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50