NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 O1.07-9345
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Long Range Space RF Telecommunications
PROPOSAL TITLE: Nano-particle Scandate Cathode for Space Communications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
e-beam, inc.
21070 SW Tile Flat Road
Beaverton, OR 97007 - 8739
(503) 628-0703

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Bernard K Vancil
21070 SW Tile Flat Road
Beaverton, OR 97007 - 8739
(503) 628-0703

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose an improved cathode based on our novel theory of the role of scandium oxide in enhancing emission in tungsten impregnate cathodes. Recent results have demonstrated the efficacy of nano-particle scandium oxide, but a detailed theory on mechanism has been lacking. Our theory explains published data and point to an optimized cathode which we here propose to build and test at our facility. The cathode is the performance limiting component in high frequency linear beam amplifiers such as traveling wave tubes and klystrons. Bandwidth, data rates, numbers of channels, frequency and output power requirements are going up. The performance of linear beam amplifiers is acutely limited by the cathode limitations. Scandate cathodes offer a way to increase emission from current limits of about 10 A/cm2 to about 50 A/cm2.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Data transmission and power levels from NASA space probes are inadequate. Fast transmission of high-resolution images during fly-bys is crucial to mission success. Also, upcoming Mars missions require faster data transmission. The time scales of these missions extend into years, even tens of years. The life-limiting component in space is the cathode in a traveling wave tube. The proposed scandate cathode will extend the life, and increase bandwidth and power.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The long life (estimated 100,000 hours) of this cathode will lower system acquisition and maintenance costs in satellites and space probes, as well as terrestrial communications and radars. Higher emission current density will permit higher frequencies, more bandwidth, and more power than current art. There is a shortage in bandwidth and channels in many wireless networks. The scandate cathode provides a way out.

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.

Data Input/Output Devices
Electromagnetic Thrusters
Electrostatic Thrusters
Optical & Photonic Materials
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Wireless Distribution

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14