NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 H9.02-9612
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Long Range Space RF Communications
PROPOSAL TITLE: Klystron Amplifier Utilizing Scandate Cathode and Electrostatic Focusing

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

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Bernard K Vancil
21070 Southwest Tile Flat Road
Beaverton, OR 97007 - 8739
(503) 628-0703

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Long Range Space RF Communications is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose to build an electrostatically focused klystron that exploits recent breakthroughs in scandate cathode technology. We have built cathodes with greater than 100 Amps/cm2 emission. This project offers an opportunity to test those cathodes in real world devices. Because of their small size (.050 inch diameter) and low power dissipation (under 1.2 watts), they are ideal for long-range space missions. Also, their low beam convergence makes electrostatic focusing feasible. This, in turn, provides a dramatic reduction in amplifier size and mass. Without magnets, traveling wave tubes and klystrons will be lighter and smaller, a further enhancement for space missions. Phase I develops cathodes, pierce guns and focusing stacks. Phase II will see construction of a working klystron or TWT. Scandate cathodes also provide longer life than conventional cathodes. Their small size allows amplifiers to reach much higher frequencies, bandwidth, and data rates than current art.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Scandate cathodes would improve performance and life on all NASA vacuum linear beam amplifiers and sources. They would allow higher data rates, higher frequencies and more power. They could be used in ion thrusters for discharge and neutralization, both for near-earth and long-range space flights. Their small size and high loading make them essential in terahertz amplifiers and sources. NASA is interested in terahertz for upper atmosphere studies, as well as communications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There is a shortage of bandwidth and number of channels in commercial wireless networks. Scandate cathodes address this by raising the frequency and power of traveling wave tubes. This is particularly true of geocentric communications satellites. Also, their longer life will reduce maintenance costs on these systems. Eventually, scandate cathodes will be used in earth-based communications networks, where the same issues arise, although not as acutely. Scandate cathodes are also needed in micro-focus x-ray guns and in UV electron-beam-pumped lasers.

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.)
Lifetime Testing

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