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Palo Alto, CA, United States

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.96K | Year: 2014

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) offers a powerful technique for changing the surface properties of a material while maintaining the bulk properties. This allows one to create a new class of materials where one combines excellent bulk properties of lower cost materials, such as copper, with desirable surface properties of rare or expensive materials, such as tungsten, platinum, titanium, molybdenum, or silver. It also provides techniques for dramatically reducing corrosion and erosion. ALD provides unprecedented control of surface coatings on a broad range of substrates, including metals and ceramics. One can create nanometer thick coatings sufficiently thin to retain the properties of the substrate, such as electrical and thermal conductivity, dielectric properties, and cost. This program will investigate applications for ALD in microwave and millimeter wave RF sources. Promising applications have already been identified and will be further developed. The Phase I program will investigate applications related to RF and electrical breakdown, RF loss, multipactor, metallization, work function reduction, and surface finish. If funded, the Phase I option will apply the technology coat internal microwave source structures for corrosion prevention. The Phase II program will test promising coating applications and develop ALD hardware compatible with RF source production.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.00M | Year: 2016

The Phase I program investigated two applications for innovative coatings to address existing issues with RF source components in Navy systems. Calabazas Creek Research, Inc. (CCR) and N.C. State University (NCSU) performed analysis and experiments to determine if the proposed approaches would provide the require functionality.CCR investigated potential coatings to address arcing issues with RF sources subjected to stand-by operation. CCR identified a mechanism whereby the impact of barium oxide contamination could be mitigated by reducing or eliminating the availability of oxygen using a sputtered coating. Two potential coatings were applied to focus electrodes for the SPS-49 klystron. The effectiveness of the coating will be confirmed during the Phase I Option and the Phase II program.The program demonstrated that a coating could be applied to the internal surfaces of an RF source assembly to dramatically reduce corrosion. Analysis showed the coating was successfully applied to the internal device structures, confirming the effectiveness in achieving uniform and conformal coatings in complex structures.The Phase II program will complete the development of these two technologies, including integration into products used in Navy systems. Prototype products will be tested to confirm program goals are achieved.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

The length of high energy accelerators is determined by the magnitude of the RF electric field that can be supported in the cavities without breakdown. The accelerator length directly impacts the size and cost. Efforts are continuing around the world to understand the physics of RF breakdown and develop new techniques and materials for increasing the electric fields that accelerator cavities can support. Calabazas Creek Research Inc. is proposing to use Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) to further understand how materials impact electric field breakdown and develop improved accelerator cavities. The program will apply custom designed coatings on test cavities to analyze RF breakdown and defect and material migration. Once the underlying physics is better understood, CCR will use ALD to fabricated RF cavities that can support higher electric fields. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Improved RF cavities will be applicable to many future accelerator and collider systems. This includes the Compact Linear Collider and the International Linear Collider, where many thousands of cavities will be required. It will also allow length reduction in industrial and medical accelerators, reducing system costs.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 79.97K | Year: 2012

The goal of the program is to show feasibility for a V-Band TWT with a CW beam power exceeding 30 kW using a novel, multiple beam, electron gun supplying the required beam power with a maximum energy of 25 kV, consistent with a compact system. Multiple or distributed beam sources are required to achieve high total beam power at reduced voltage. The reduced voltage reduces the size and cost of the total system, while also improving the performance. This program will investigate several RF circuit configurations and identify the most promising to achieve the RF power goals. The program will then develop the multiple beam electron gun to provide the required beam power and configuration. The program will use advanced controlled porosity reservoir cathodes to improve the electron gun performance while simultaneously increasing lifetime. If the Phase I Option is funded, CCR will fabricate and test an electron gun with permanent magnet focusing in a comparable geometry.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.00M | Year: 2015

High efficiency, low cost RF sources are required for proton, ion, and muon accelerators. These sources must be compact and provide precise control of the output power and phase. Currently only large, expensive klystrons can provide this performance. Calabazas Creek Research Inc. proposes to develop a phase locked magnetron-based system that has phase and amplitude control via a low power amplifier. The system uses phase modulation to control the RF power. The efficiency can exceed 80% and the cost is expected to be less than $3/Watt, significantly lower than other high power amplifiers. CCR originally proposed to develop a magnetron with a grid for control of phase and amplitude. Detailed simulations showed that this was not a promising approach. The grid was found to be viable only in magnetrons with low duty cycle, and amplitude control was demonstrated; but the grid was found to be not effective for phase locking. Attention was turned to a concept from FermiLab, which is very promising for both amplitude and phase control and does not require a grid. CCR will develop an RF system providing phase and amplitude control of a 100 kW peak, 10 kW average 1.3 GHz magnetron. Procedures and techniques will be applicable to design of systems at other frequencies and power levels. The program will include development of the magnetron and locking electronics. The system will be tested at FermiLab. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits Magnetrons can provide high levels of RF power at very high efficiency at low cost. As oscillators, however, their applications are limited. Magnetrons with more precise control of the output power and control of the phase could find wide application in accelerators and colliders. They would also provide improved performance for high resolution radar.

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