NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-2 Z1.01-8436
SUBTOPIC TITLE: High Power/Voltage Electronics
PROPOSAL TITLE: Characterization and Mitigation of Radiation and High Temperature Effects in SiC Power Electronics

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
CFD Research Corporation
701 McMillian Way Northwest, Suite D
Huntsville, AL 35806 - 2923
(256) 726-4800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ashok Raman
701 McMillian Way, NW, Ste. D
Huntsville, AL 35806 - 2923
(256) 726-4829

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Silvia Harvey
701 McMillian Way Northwest, Suite D
Huntsville, AL 35806 - 2923
(256) 726-4858

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
High Power/Voltage Electronics 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)
Future NASA science and exploration missions require significant performance improvements over the state-of-the-art in Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) systems. Space qualified, high voltage power electronics can lead to higher efficiency and reduced mass at the spacecraft system architecture level, and serve as an enabling technology for operational concepts such as solar electric propulsion.

Silicon carbide (SiC) is a robust technology with superior electronic properties for power applications. SiC devices offer higher temperature operation, lower on-resistance, higher breakdown voltages, and higher power conversion efficiency than silicon devices. However, high vulnerability to heavy-ion induced degradation and catastrophic failure has precluded this technology from space PMAD applications. Importantly, physical mechanisms for this vulnerability are not well understood, resulting in the inability to develop radiation hardened SiC devices.

CFDRC, in collaboration with Vanderbilt University and Wolfspeed, is applying a coupled experimental and physics-based modeling approach to address this challenge. In Phase I, we performed electrical and heavy ion tests on 1200V Wolfspeed SiC JBS diodes to generate response data, and performed TCAD simulations to investigate diode sensitivity to design parameters and analyze electro-thermal mechanisms behind measured response. In Phase II, we will develop further insight into physical mechanisms in the diodes via development and application of advanced physics models. We will parametrically analyze design features to identify promising hardness solutions, which will then be fabricated and experimentally characterized. We will also perform heavy-ion testing of 1200V SiC MOSFETs and apply simulations for insights into governing mechanisms (to be further developed in follow on work). Direct participation by Wolfspeed in Phase II and beyond will ensure space-qualified, SiC power devices for NASA applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Space qualified, high voltage/high temperature power electronics is directly aligned, per the NASA Space Power and Energy Storage Roadmap - Technology Area (TA) 03, with science and exploration missions such as: missions using electric propulsion, robotic missions, lunar exploration missions to Near Earth Orbit, robotic surface missions to Venus and Europa, polar Mars missions and Moon missions, and others. A higher operating voltage can yield a lower distribution system weight for the same power level and is highly desirable across many areas of PMAD. SiC devices offer higher breakdown voltage, lower switching losses, and increased temperature tolerance, all crucial features for NASA space power applications. The radiation tolerant SiC designs from this project will add to the NASA components library.

The TA 03 roadmap identifies the development of analytical models and predictive tools to model and characterize power and energy storage systems as a Cross-Cutting Technology which will provide capability to all NASA missions that require power electronics. Specifically highlighted is the need for physics-based models of power-related components. The modeling and analysis tools developed here directly address this need, and will help NASA better evaluate device performance under radiation and high temperature at an early stage, and design space qualified power electronics with better understanding and control of design margins, thereby reducing development time and cost.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Space qualified SiC power electronics will find application in power systems in all space-based platforms, including DoD space systems (communication, surveillance, missile defense), and commercial satellites. High voltage SiC power devices, through applications in inverters, high-voltage converters, motor drives, and switch mode power supplies, also offer significant performance benefits to power systems in other market sectors. These include national defense systems such as unmanned underwater vehicles (AUVs) and soldier portable power systems. Applications in the terrestrial energy sector include PMAD systems in all-electric and hybrid cars, grid-scale energy storage systems, smart grid, green energy systems (wind/solar systems), solid-state lighting, and remote, off-grid power systems (crewed vehicles and habitats). Other commercial applications of SiC include high temperature power and control systems for extreme environments such as geothermal drill sites and sensor systems in engines of aircraft and hybrid vehicles. For all the applications listed above, physics-based predictive and accurate modeling and design tools reduce the amount of required radiation/temperature testing, thus decreasing their cost, and time to market or field application.

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.)
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Simulation & Modeling
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)

Form Generated on 03-07-17 15:43