NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-2 H9.01-8402
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Long Range Optical Telecommunications
PROPOSAL TITLE: Superconducting Magnesium Diboride Thin Films for Ground Receiver Detectors

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
STAR Cryoelectronics, LLC
25-A Bisbee Court
Santa Fe, NM 87508 - 1338
(505) 424-6454

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Brian H Moeckly
1225 E Cota St
Santa Barbara, CA 93103 - 2502
(805) 705-0344

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Robin Harold Cantor
25-A Bisbee Court
Santa Fe, NM 87508 - 1338
(505) 424-6454 Extension :101

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 7

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Long Range Optical Telecommunications 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)
Superconducting films of magnesium diboride (MgB2) are very attractive for a range of detector and telecommunications applications owing to the high critical temperature of these films, ~40 K, which greatly simplifies the cooling requirements. We propose to develop a reactive evaporation technique for the deposition of MgB2 thick films on wafers up to at least 4" diameter, and an etch back and passivation process to produce high-quality thin films that are needed for the development of superconducting single photon detectors (SNSPDs) and THz hot electron bolometer (HEB) mixers. Currently there is no domestic commercial source for MgB2 films; the only commercial source we are aware of is an overseas vendor that can supply films only on very small (<1 cm2) chips. In Phase I, we demonstrated the feasibility of the etch back and passivation process, and completed designs for the reactive evaporation system that we will build in Phase II and develop a wafer-scale process for the deposition and production of MgB2 films.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
All NASA space missions are supported by Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) technologies that provide the command, telemetry, science data transfer, and navigation support required for these missions. In view of NASA's commitment that "communications shall enable and not constrain missions," there is a recognized need for new and innovative technologies for free-space, long-range optical communications that will enhance downlink and uplink data transfer rates for space missions and provide increased security for future manned missions that could be jeopardized through cyberattacks. There has been significant interest in single photon detectors based on MgB2 films to meet these needs, and in THz HEB mixers based on MgB2 films for future astrophysics applications, such as for the Far-IR Surveyor mission or for SOFIA heterodyne instruments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
High-quality MgB2 films are attractive for a number of superconducting electronics applications, and the availability of internal MgB2 deposition capabilities would enable the company to broaden the range of services and products currently offered. Potential non-NASA commercial applications include custom fabrication of microwave devices that can take advantage of the low surface resistance of MgB2 films; the development of SQUID sensors to augment the company's existing LTS and HTS SQUID product line for applications in biomedical imaging, non-destructive testing of materials and geophysical exploration; and the fabrication of flexible cryogenic interconnects for LTS computing.

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.)
Detectors (see also Sensors)

Form Generated on 03-07-17 15:43