NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X8.03-9743
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Space Nuclear Power Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Silicon Carbide Based Power Mangement and Distribution for Space Nuclear Power Systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Arkansas Power Electronics International, Inc.
535 W. Research Center Blvd., Suite 209
Fayetteville, AR 72701 - 6959
(479) 443-5759

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Brad Reese
535 W. Research Center Blvd.
Fayetteville, AR 72701 - 6959
(479) 443-5759 Extension :8250

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In this SBIR project, APEI, Inc. is proposing to develop a high efficiency, rad-hard, 100's kWe power management and distribution (PMAD) system for space nuclear power systems. The PMAD will utilize SiC JFET power switches; components which APEI, Inc. has irradiated under TID conditions to greater than 3MRad with little to zero change in device performance. The PMAD will implement a modular approach in order to increase efficiency and ease expansion, as well as a multi-level soft-switching power topology which will allow increased transmission voltages (up to 2 kV) and increased efficiency. APEI, Inc. will leverage over a decade of experience in developing high-power, high-density SiC-based power electronic systems in order to realize an efficient, power-dense PMAD solution for space nuclear power systems.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are a wide range of applications within NASA on which SiC power converters could make a significant impact, including:
Satellite & spacecraft power management systems— Modular SiC converters that are more efficient than silicon and offer reduced weight and volume would find application in nearly every power management system in space. Such systems would be built up utilizing standardized modules, stacking the modules in series and parallel to achieve the desired voltage and current levels, as well as the specific functionality.
Satellite & spacecraft motors and actuators— Most spacecraft contain a multitude of actuators and motors to perform various functions, such as opening and rotating solar array panels, controlling robotic arms, aligning communications arrays, pointing cameras and instruments, etc.
Extreme environment exploratory vehicles— While one advantage of SiC technology is to achieve higher power densities through high temperature operation, the other utilization of the technology is to operate in high temperature environments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Industrial Motor Drives— In the longer term, industrial motor drive systems could see serious performance improvement through the integration of SiC technology. The large majority of manufacturing machinery in the world incorporates a multitude of industrial motors and drives, the electronics of which often times take up entire walls and significant floor space.
Electric Utility—This application offers a unique opportunity for SiC power electronics the need for 10+kV SiC power devices, an area in which Silicon devices cannot compete. Traditionally, the industry has been dominated by large iron-core transformers and mechanical equipment, such as circuit breakers and relays. These systems, while reliable during routine operation, have long repair and replace times in the field resulting in long power outages and many manhours to isolate the problem and return the grid to operation.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Actuators & Motors
Air Transportation & Safety
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Space Transportation & Safety

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12