NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 04.05-7881

PROJECT TITLE : LaRCÔ-SI, as a Substrate for Embedded Electronic Circuits

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

LaRCÔ-SI, a soluble polyimide, developed by NASA has properties applicable to the development of conformal printed circuit boards (PCB). In the past, industry has been hampered in the design of conformal PCB's due to the requirements for electronic components to be mounted on rigid substrates using adhesives. LaRCÔ-SI can be applied to malleable substrates without adhesives to produce conformal high performance PCBs. This would allow the placement of circuits on composite materials for use on systems and subsystems for the aerospace and automotive industries, and the development of wearable personal electronics. This research will investigate the unique properties of LaRCÔ-SI for use in three separate, but complementary applications: 1) conformal circuits for NASA and US Military aerospace vehicles and subsystems, 2) automotive vehicle electronics to reduce size, weight and space, and 3) personal electronic devices such as: wrist watch styled GPS devices, pagers; belt computers, or vital signs monitoring devices for telemedicine. Products built with conformal PCBs using LaRCÔ-SI would be more reliable, and reduce the time and complexity of the manufacturing process. The application of this unique polyimide has significant potential for developing small and innovative devices that have unlimited commercial applications.
POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Embedded electronic circuits on conformal substrates have applications in creating a variety of wearable electronic devices, automotive electronics, and embedded circuits on high performance NASA vehicles. Wearable electronic devices with applications in personal safety and telemedicine can be produced when LaRCÔ-SI is combined with surface mount technologies and miniaturized chips. Reduced size and weight of electronic devices will facilitate the unobtrusive wearing of personal and medical devices. The major advantage of LaRCÔ-SI is in the use of conformal substrates without adhesives allowing circuits to be placed in locations heretofore not possible. The total market potential for wearable electronics such as medical devices is not available at this time. However, information reviewed by this researcher (e.g., trade publications, medical literature, and searches of the Internet) indicates a potential market in the billion dollar range.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Richard Shaner
Arrowhead Technologies
10 San Jose Drive, Suite 4-B
Newport News, VA 23606
email: shanerd@arrowheadtech.com
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
Arrowhead Technologies
10 San Jose Drive, Suite 4-B
Newport News, VA 23606