NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 A1.03-9051
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Low Emissions Propulsion and Power-Turboelectric and Hybrid Electric Aircraft Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE: Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Based Solid State Smart Circuit Protection

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
LaunchPoint Technologies, Inc.
5735 Hollister Avenue, Suite B
Goleta, CA 93117 - 6410
(805) 683-9659

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Michael Ricci
5735 Hollister Avenue, Suite B
Goleta, CA 93117 - 6410
(805) 683-9659

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Vicki Young
5735 Hollister Avenue, Suite B
Goleta, CA 93117 - 6410
(805) 683-9659 Extension :207

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Low Emissions Propulsion and Power-Turboelectric and Hybrid Electric Aircraft Propulsion 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)
Advanced solid state power component technology is necessary for future hybrid aircraft systems with increased power demands. There is a need for adequate circuit protection in these high powered electrical systems to achieve safety, reliability, and ultimately airworthiness. Solid State Power Controller (SSPC) modules already exist for aircraft applications but they were developed for the lower power levels seen in existing aircraft branch circuits. Hybrid-Electric aircraft have electrical power levels that are one or two orders of magnitude higher than existing aircraft and the presently existing SSPCs are simply not appropriate for use in these vehicles. SSPCs at the power levels required for a GA aircraft propulsion motor hardly exist; and SSPCs at the power levels required by small electric UAVs are too heavy and bulky. The LaunchPoint SSPC unit will incorporate all of the capabilities of existing SSPCs but with a few distinctions. LaunchPoint's SSPC will utilize Silicon Carbide and Gallium Nitride semiconductors to create SSPCs that are not only significantly smaller but can operate at much higher power levels. In addition to utilizing a different MOSFET element, the LaunchPoint SSPC would incorporate a microcontroller that would perform high bandwidth monitoring of current and voltage waveforms and derive low bandwidth metrics that can be reported back to the system Hybrid Power Controller. These metrics could include transient peak currents and voltages, RMS currents and voltages, and frequency content. In addition to these metrics, LaunchPoint would like to evaluate the feasibility of using the smart SSPC to detect imminent insulation failures resulting from coronal discharge, a particularly troubling problem associated with high altitude flight. This could be accomplished by real time analysis of partial discharge currents and other characteristic phenomena. These advancements represent a novel contribution to electric aircraft propulsion systems.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA spacecraft could benefit from significant weight savings as well as increased safety, x-57 Maxwell aircraft, GL-10 hybrid electric VTOL aircraft, HEIST project could replace heavy electromechanical relays in the power system with lightweight, fast Solid State Power Controller (SSPC) modules.

The SSPC modules can also be incorporated into the front end of motor speed controllers and allow the controllers to safely disconnect from the DC bus in the event of a short circuit fault within the controller. The modules also will have use as battery pack disconnect switches in the event of a pack failure that could short circuit the main power bus.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
LaunchPoint Technologies is providing a gen-set and hybrid power system to a potential customer for evaluation on a small UAV they are planning to manufacture and sell. This customer has expressed a desire for circuit protection to enable the vehicle to survive the failure of a motor speed controller that could short out the entire DC bus of the vehicle.
Other UAV manufacturers that wish to conduct operations over people will eventually need to meet some airworthiness requirements and circuit protection that allows the vehicle to remain in the air after a short circuit in a feeder wire or other single point electrical failures will be essential to demonstrate airworthiness to the FAA. Eventual electric powered Personal Air Vehicles will require high power and low weight circuit protection to enable safe reliable ubiquitous flight.

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.)
Air Transportation & Safety
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Avionics (see also Control and Monitoring)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Condition Monitoring (see also Sensors)
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Space Transportation & Safety
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59