NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 S1.06-8828
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Particles and Field Sensors and Instrument Enabling Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Bulk metallic glass for low noise fluxgate

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Prime Photonics, LC
1116 South Main Street, Suite 200
Blacksburg, VA 24060 - 5548
(540) 961-2200

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David T Gray
71116 South Main Street, Suite 200
Blacksburg, VA 24060 - 5548
(540) 961-2200

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The team of Prime Photonics, Virginia Tech, and Utron Kinetics propose to develop a fabrication technology that will result in drop-in replacements for a diminishing supply of NASA fluxgate magnetometer ring cores. Specifically, we plan to capitalize on trends observed during the Phase I effort in terms of control over material properties in bulk, cobalt-rich metallic glass materials with increased permeability, tunable Curie temperature, highly controlled coercivity and saturation inductance, all without the introduction of magnetostrictive-based excess noise. The bulk nature of the material will provide an unprecedented degree of freedom in core geometry design over existing ribbon-form amorphous alloys, allowing for net shape, drop-in fluxgate cores that can compete with, or exceed noise levels observed in the 6-81.3 permalloy family. The Phase I effort brought the technology from observed trends in materials, a TRL of 1, to a level wherein analytical obersevations and proofs of concept have been carried out, a TRL of 3. During the Phase II effort, we projection a minimum TRL of 4 at the completion of the effort.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The predominant NASA commercial application lies in a drop-in replacement for current 6-81.3 permalloy fluxgate ring cores. The exact fabrication process that resulted in the ultra-low noise operation of NASA's world class magnetic sensors has been lost since its inception. As such, there are relatively few appropriate materials that are commercially available and viable alternatives to the diminishing supply of permalloy material. Consultation with NASA customers, particularly those in the GSFC mag group, will place Prime Photonics in a unique position to offer a material that has been designed specifically for use in NASA space-based magnetometer missions.
Additional uses of the proposed technology lie in magnetic shielding as replacements for mu-metal materials. The amorphous nature of our materials have the potential to provided enhanced reduction in eddy current generation, and advanced flux steering around sensitive components. Furthermore, the ability to tune the ferromagnetic properties of the alloy can allow for a host of NASA applications, from EMI shielding to alternative modality magnetic sensors to components of composite particulate shielding.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercial applications for the technology outside of NASA interests include much overlap. While there exist alternative magnetic sensing technologies more suitable to terrestrial applications, certain of those technologies can benefit from the advanced material properties of the proposed technology. We have demonstrated an ability to tune the material properties through alloy composition and preparation techniques. As such, we can tailo the material to provide for elevated magnetostriction of increased permeability, both of which can serve as foundations for alternative sensor modalities.
One of the most important potential applications of the material lies in the fabrication of transformer core laminations. The controllable magnetostriction, high permeability, low electrical conductivity, and low coercivity would all contribute to a significant reduction in parasitic energy loss in residential and industry power distribution grids.

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.)
GPS/Radiometric (see also Sensors)
Isolation/Protection/Radiation Shielding (see also Mechanical Systems)
Manufacturing Methods
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Navigation & Guidance
Telemetry/Tracking (Cooperative/Noncooperative; see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)

Form Generated on 09-03-12 17:04