NASA STTR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 T3.01-9899
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Space Power and Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE: Superconducting Resonant Inductive Power Coupling

NAME: Axis Engineering Technologies NAME: University of Maryland
STREET: One Broadway, 14th Floor STREET: 3112 Lee Building
CITY: Cambridge CITY: College Park
STATE/ZIP: MA  02142 - 1187 STATE/ZIP: MD  20742 - 5141
PHONE: (617) 225-4414 PHONE: (301) 405-6269

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Raymond J Sedwick
3146 Martin Hall
College Park, MD 20742 - 0001
(301) 405-0111

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The proposed effort will develop a technology to wirelessly and efficiently transfer power over hundreds of meters via resonant inductive coupling. The key innovation of this approach is the use of dielectricless high-temperature superconducting (HTS) coils to overcome the limitations in efficiency and range of existing solutions. This approach is informed by existing research models that predict a nominal application of this technique is capable of delivering 100 Watts of power at a distance of 100 meters with over 90% efficiency. A notional application of the technology is to deliver power to rovers exploring the inside of craters at the Lunar poles, where solar power is not available. The naturally low temperatures would eliminate the need for thermal control overhead on the rover, allowing the system to be charged from a completely unenergized state or powered directly. Multiple rovers could be powered by the same transmission system and there would be no pointing requirements for operation. The phase I effort will demonstrate efficient wireless power transfer using superconducting wires as a proof of concept (TRL 3-4), which will be integrated with existing thermal control technology (TRL 4) into a working prototype (TRL 6) at the end of Phase II.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology applies wherever power generation at the point of need is unavailable, insufficient or too costly (in terms of mass). Powering multiple rovers within a polar lunar crater is an ideal application since the lack of sunlight generates a need for power delivery while providing an ideal thermal environment for the superconductors. Another example is a Mars rover architecture where a slow moving "crawler" provides power to a suite of agile rovers performing sampling and analysis tasks over a wide swath. Near the crawler the small rovers would fully function and store excess energy, whereas farther away they would operate primarily from stored energy until recharging becomes necessary. Other applications may involve human or robotic EVA outside of ISS, where the ISS would provide an ample power source. In 6 DOF operation the inductively coupled system has the advantage of less sensitivity to orientation than solar power generation.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In military operations unmanned rovers can be sent into dangerous situations to acquire intelligence. The inductive coupling allows for a rover to explore caves or the rubble of a demolished building, as well as undersea operations to power Unmanned Underwater Vehicles. FEMA could benefit by providing temporary power in areas where the infrastructure has been lost. A primary interest in commercial markets is power delivery to small electronics such as laptops, cell phones and PDAs. In this application, the receive side would not be superconducting. These wireless power systems are currently under development by other companies, however the efficiency of such systems could be substantially improved if the stationary transmission coil were superconducting, with the appropriate thermal control. This combination could increase the efficiency of such a system from 10% to over 90% over the distances of interest.

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.)
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems

Form Generated on 09-03-10 15:17