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Rockledge, FL, United States

Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.86K | Year: 2015

Current military vehicles use battery-isolating diodes to transfer current between two sets of battery banks, which are heavy, inefficient, and only allow current flow from the higher charged (higher voltage) battery to the other. This proposal details efforts to develop a bi-directional dc-dc converter for military vehicles to allow for smart control of current transfer between battery banks, as well as increased efficiency compared to the legacy system. Mainstream proposes a 500 A, 4-quadrant, interleaved, bi-directional, dc-dc converter that is built using high-current GaN devices. The proposed modular GaN based battery isolator unit (BIU) is developed on a multiple GaN device PCB with two interleaved (parallel) modules, has a zero-percent de-rating when bucking and boosting, and is cooled using only natural convection with an aluminum heat spreader. The BIU also incorporates a novel common mode (CM) EMI filter topology, using low-loss nanocrystalline magnetic material for the CM choke, to further reduce overall system volume and weight. This approach results in a 4-quadrant dc-dc converter with an efficiency of 94.7% and power density of 18.5 W/in3 (including thermal management system). At the completion of the Phase I, Mainstreams BIU will be a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.42K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT:An air cycle machine (ACM), typically used in airborne thermal management systems, consists of a power turbine that utilizes high pressure bleed air, along with a cooling turbine to produce the necessary shaft power for a compressor and starter/generator. A system that sufficiently simulates actual ACM functionality and dynamics in laboratory environment is sought to minimize aircraft development costs and schedule risks. In Phase I, Mainstream successfully completed the initial phase for developing an air-cycle machine (ACM) emulator. The original Phase I feasibility effort consisted of designing the ACM components as well as fabricating and experimentally validating one such component (i.e. cooling turbine rotor). In addition, Mainstream delivered and integrated the cooling turbine, along with a load-dissipating turbocharger compressor, in an Air Force Research Laboratory test facility and demonstrated the cooling turbine capability. In Phase II, Mainstream will continue the development of the laboratory emulators and will deliver two sets of matched turbine/compressor configurations for installation, testing, and evaluation during the period of performance.BENEFIT:The proposed approach seeks to emulate the cooling turbine and compressor of an air cycle machine to test various configurations of an aircraft thermal management system in a laboratory environment. By developing a laboratory based ACM designed to be easily and rapidly converted from one configuration to another by interchanging turbine rotors and compressor impellers, the technology enables testing of various cooling TMS configurations at relatively low cost when compared to actual airborne ACM. While the compressor technology for this program is developed for a larger application, the compressor can be scaled down and operate as an electrically driven supercharger for automobile applications. By being an electrically driven supercharger, fuel efficiency can be increased by minimizing turbo-lag present in traditional turbochargers. There is a very large commercial potential for the proposed system. The market size for automotive turbochargers/superchargers is large and growingthe global market size was approximately $1.9B in 2010 and is expected to grow to $2.9B by 2015.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.98K | Year: 2015

Over 95% of the multilayer ceramic capacitors manufactured worldwide use base metal electrode (BME) technology and they are one of the key components in much of the modern electronics. BME capacitors have, over the last 20 years, made significant improvements in performance and reliability; making them more competitive for a wide range of applications. However, there remains significant concerns about the reliability of BME based capacitors for applications that put high levels of stress and/or require high reliability. To increase application in high reliability platforms there remains the need to develop a robust and reliable screening method for evaluating BME multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCC). This screening method is needed for both the finished device and in process steps to prevent early catastrophic failures of the capacitor. To achieve the detail and nondestructive analysis of the component materials and the resulting BME capacitors Mainstream proposed to develop a robust, sensitive method of analysis. We propose to develop a model of the BME dielectric layers based on this analysis method. Mainstream is confident that this model will provide a reliable analysis of the dielectric layers highlighting the presence of the oxide vacancies and deviations in the grain structure of BaTiO3. Approved for Public Release 15-MDA-8161 (11 March 15)


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.67K | Year: 2015

The process by which weapon systems go from point of manufacture to field usage is not a simple one. Devices can be held in storage for decades before use, and they can be subjected to significant and potentially damaging environmental conditions throughout the systems lifecycle. Latent and intermittent failures occur, and it is difficult to detect these malfunctions without actively monitoring the failure mechanisms from day one. By incorporating a health monitoring system into the manufacturing process of weapon electronics at time of manufacture, the instantaneous remaining life of the component can be tracked throughout the logistics chain. However, current technologies do not offer simple and reliable products capable of inclusion at the time of manufacture that effectively monitor remaining component life. The Weapon Inspection and Sustainment Recorder Device (WISARD) combines Mainstreams experience with modern low power design methodologies, cumulative damage models, and electronic monitoring systems to bridge this gap. With a successful Phase I program, Mainstream anticipates transitioning this technology from a detailed analytical design and limited proof-of-concept prototype to a full-scale, production-ready prototype during the Phase II program. Approved for Public Release 15-MDA-8161 (11 March 15)


Patent
Mainstream Engineering Corp. | Date: 2010-08-11

A method and components for heating and hydrating foods and beverages using an exothermic and pressure generating chemical reaction are described. The exothermic reaction can be initiated by water, spark, electrical impulse, squib, friction, or shock to heat non-potable water and force the water through a membrane filter, thereby producing heated, potable water.

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