NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 S3.03-8745
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Power Electronics and Management, and Energy Storage
PROPOSAL TITLE: Silicon Carbide Gate Driver

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
United Silicon Carbide, Inc.
7 Deer Park Drive, Suite E
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852 - 1921
(732) 355-0550

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Matthew O'Grady
7 Deer Park Drive, Suite E
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852 - 1921
(732) 355-0550 Extension :315

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Scott Kelly
7 Deer Park Drive, Suite E
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852 - 1921
(732) 355-0550

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Power Electronics and Management, and Energy Storage 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)
NASA needs efficient, low mass, low volume power electronics for a wide variety of applications and missions. Silicon carbide (SiC) switches provide fast, low loss switching, low on-resistance and high breakdown voltage to potentially meet this need. Gate drivers are a key component to fully realize the system level advantages that SiC power switches can provide. By implementing gate drivers in SiC, they can tolerate extreme temperatures (500 deg. C) allowing them to be collocated with the power switches they control. This reduces parasitic inductance and circuit area improving the performance of the power switch and converter. The SiC gate driver will have direct near term application in power processing units and other NASA power conversion systems and also be suitable for future exploration missions in extreme environments.

In Phase I, we will design and simulate the gate driver to show its feasibility. In Phase II, we will fabricate the gate drivers and demonstrate them operating at high temperature in a practical circuit such as a high voltage boost converter. We will also perform radiation testing on the gate driver to evaluate its radiation hardness as need for extended space operation. Following Phase II, we will integrate the gate driver with co-packaged SiC switches for NASA and commercial applications. Additionally, the advancement in TRL demonstrated by Phase II testing will help accelerate commercial availability of USCi's SiC integrated circuit fabrication service.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
SiC gate drivers can be used with existing discrete SiC power devices to implement scalable, high operating temperature, radiation hard power management and distribution systems and power processing units for satellites and other spacecraft. In these applications, the gate drivers will enable low mass power electronics for space by fully enabling the performance advantages of SiC switches. The extreme temperature capability and radiation tolerance will make them useful for even the most demanding space applications such as the exploration of Venus and long duration Jupiter/Europa missions.

Earth based applications for SiC gate drivers include electrically driven actuators on more electric aircraft and gate drivers for switches in aircraft circuit protection applications. In these applications the gate drivers are co-located with power switches which see high temperatures due to close location with the power switches and due to heating during electrical overstress events.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The SiC gate driver and SiC integrated circuits in general will also have applications in the areas of defense, aerospace, scientific research, energy exploration, and industrial controls. DoD needs high temperature and radiation tolerant power electronics for space and missile defense applications. The automotive industry could utilize SiC gate drivers in their efforts to operate SiC switches at temperatures higher than 175 deg. C. Scientific applications include instrumentation and power devices for physics research facilities which place extreme demands on power electronics technology. High temperature electronics, including power electronics, are needed for improved downhole tools for geothermal energy exploration, development, and production as future super critical wells will require electronics operating at junction temperatures over 400 deg. C for long periods of time.

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.)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59