MIT
Tamilnadu, India
MIT
Tamilnadu, India

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Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 528.55K | Year: 2015

The goal of Phase II of this STTR project is to optimize the GaN transistor obtained in Phase I to deliver a 100-W power amplifier with 90% power added efficiency (PAE) at 1 GHz. Emphasis will be put on optimizing output capacitances, improving gate control and further improving epitaxial wafers. We will finalize our design of power amplifier circuit module based on the improved device and our proprietary device models. Device reliability and scalability in output power will be extensively studied.Upon the completion of Phase II base period, we expect to deliver a working prototype of this ultra-high-efficiency PA assembled on a test board. The technology prototype is expected to open up the possibility to replace vacuum-tube-based power amplifiers with solid-state power amplifiers. Such a case will impact a broad range of applications including phase-array radar systems, communication systems, energy transfer modules, and imaging modules in medical equipment. At the end of this project, we will be well positioned to initiate a unique product line that leads the application of solid-state device in ultra-high efficiency power amplifiers for both military and commercial markets.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 80.00K | Year: 2014

Naval vessels which regularly encounter sub-freezing environments experience superstructure ice accumulation which has negative effects on seaworthiness, deck safety, and ship system performance. In order to mitigate risks to mission success, this ice is currently removed with tools and de-icing solvents through a hazardous manual process with risk of damaging ship components. Ideally, these de-icing challenges would be overcome with a passive ice protection technology that does not require personnel on deck and maintains high performance of ship systems at sub-zero conditions. Technologies based on superhydrophobic surfaces delay drop freezing allowing them to roll off of surfaces before freezing, however, they are readily defeated by frost, snow, and high winds driving drops into the surface, making an additional ice-phobic capability necessary. Researchers at Luna Innovations, in collaboration with engineering professors Cohen and McKinley at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), have identified a microstructured surface treatment compatible with ship coatings that can provide an unparalleled barrier to ice adhesion. The proposed spray-ready coating formulation is robust, practical and has tunable properties to include transparency and easy-cleaning capabilities.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 498.00K | Year: 2015

Measurement surveys of full-scale ship airwakes are needed to validate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models of these wakes. Airwake computations guide the design of ship superstructures, improve the fidelity of flight simulators, and save time and reduce risk during flight tests to define launch and recovery envelopes for ship and aircraft combinations. Current full-scale test techniques involving mast mounted anemometers are costly, time-consuming, and do not extend to the critical region aft of the ships stern. We propose an autonomous ship airwake measurement system that is man-portable and may be set up and operated by a single person. Detailed measurements of the air velocity vectors above the flight deck and far into the wake region aft of the ships stern are possible with this system. In Phase I, we demonstrated the feasibility of our proposed approach with tests of critical aspects of the system both in our laboratory and in the field. In Phase II, we will develop, test, and validate a complete prototype of the system and demonstrate its performance and value in field tests and onboard U.S. Navy ships. The system will then be ready for use by the Navy to map ship airwakes.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2013

SSCI and MIT team will approach a problem of fusing target data from sensor of different phenomenology using Probabilistic programming technology, Stochastic inference techniques based on Markov chain simulation, and Robust kinematic features. These methods will allow us to estimate the extend of information on metric, material, and kinematic properties of the observed low resolution targets available through infra-red and radar sensors. Any collaborating information available through both sensors would help their association and tracking between sensors of different phenomenology. Stochastic inference techniques based on Markov chain simulation will be employed to rapidly identify accurate interpretations of the data. Probabilistic programs go beyond classical pattern recognition techniques, statistical learning methods and Bayesian networks. These programs simulate hypothetical worlds according to the prior assumptions. Each possible execution path of the probabilistic program constitutes a distinct hypothesis over which Bayesian inference can be performed. In this framework, it becomes natural to capture detailed physical prior knowledge, even if the distributions involved are highly non-Gaussian and their time evolution is highly non-linear, making analytical representations intractable. The programs will also help the team assess the best wavebands to provide the richest set of potentially useful features for target characterization.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

Autonomous or teleoperated navigation of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) is difficult even in benign environments due to challenges associated with perception, decision making, and human-machine interaction, among others. In environments with rough, sloped, slippery, and/or deformable terrain, the difficulty of the navigation problem increases dramatically. In this effort, Quantum Signal, LLC, University of Michigan, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology propose to collaboratively research methods for robust terrain-adaptive planning and control to enable a future generation of UGVs with assured mobility in highly challenging terrain. The approach will exploit physics-based terrain modeling with data-driven variance estimation, stochastic vehicle motion planning through feasible corridor, and terrain-adaptive predictive vehicle control integrated into a threat-based control arbitration architecture. This architecture will enable operation at (and seamless transition between) any point on the autonomy spectrum, ranging from manual teleoperation to full autonomy. In Phase 1 the team will develop, test, and characterize algorithm performance with Quantum Signal"s high fidelity ANVEL robotic vehicle simulator and determine feasibility. Should the methods prove feasible, Phase 2 will involve the further development, integration, and testing of the methodology on experimental vehicle hardware.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2016

In the near term, in order to mitigate carbon emissions to the extent possible while carbon-neutral, renewable energy resources are developed sufficiently to address the total demand of the Nation, there is a significant need for technologies capable of up-converting captured carbon dioxide either to value-added products or to forms able to be safely sequestered. In particular, access must be opened to a larger and more diverse market than just direct sales of the captured CO2. Electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 to value-added materials has been demonstrated on a number of metallic and alloy materials. In the proposed Phase I program, tin electrocatalysts, known for their capability to reduce CO2 to formate, will be fabricated with novel microstructures enabled by pulsed-waveform electrodeposition. These electrocatalysts will be incorporated into a state-of-the-art benchtop flow-through electroreactor to demonstrate preliminary feasibility of economical conversion of CO2 to formate. Existing, patented electrodeposition cells with carefully tailored flow pathways will be retrofitted for electrodeposition of tin onto high-surface area substrates such as carbon felt and/or carbon paper. Pulsed-waveform electrodeposition will be used to fabricate tin electrocatalyst layers in a variety of micro-structural configurations. These electrocatalysts will be characterized by various methods and integrated into a state-of-the-art flow-through electroreactor for benchtop evaluation of their CO2 reduction performance. A high-level life-cycle analysis and near-term economic/scale-up analysis will be performed to provide insight, respectively, into the true environmental benefits afforded by the technology and the contours of its pathway to commercialization. In order to minimize carbon dioxide emissions from burning of fossil fuels, enhanced technologies for the conversion of captured carbon dioxide are needed. This program seeks to develop a process to transform carbon dioxide to formic acid by electrochemical means as a partial solution to this challenge. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: A suitably efficient and selective conversion process would provide a means for converting waste carbon dioxide to a significantly more valuable material with substantial market outlets in animal husbandry, fabric production, and in the manufacture of products as diverse as pharmaceuticals and PVC plastic. Significant public benefit in the form of mitigation of the atmospheric greenhouse gas burden would result from introduction of an economical process for diversion of emitted carbon dioxide.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.99K | Year: 2013

The feasibility for fusion as a practical energy source needs to be enhanced significantly by removing some of the restrictions that low-temperature superconductors put on the fusion magnet systems. This can be done by using high-temperature superconductors, allowing for much larger temperature margins, a higher magnet performance and less mechanical degradation during operation. There are currently no feasible methods to construct HTS cables that have the performance and current homogeneity needed for fusion magnets. Advanced Conductor Technologies will develop high-temperature superconducting `Conductor-on-Round-Core cables, invented by the Principal Investigator, for use in fusion magnets. These cables will have a homogenous current distribution at high current ramp rates, a stable operation at elevated temperatures and high magnetic fields, and will be mechanically robust. During Phase I we have demonstrated the feasibility of Conductor-on-RoundCore cables for fusion applications. Weve shown, both analytically and experimentally, that the current distribution in these cables remains homogeneous at current ramp rates as high as 68,000 amperes per second. We also developed a cable with a record current carrying performance of 5,021 amperes in a background field of 19 teslas. During Phase II we propose to construct a six-aroundone cable, capable of carrying a current of over 60,000 A, by bundling six Conductor-on-RoundCore cables around a central cooling tube. The cable will be optimized to withstand the large forces during operation and to allow for operation at elevated temperatures. We will test the cable in flowing helium gas and at magnetic fields as high as 12 teslas. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: High-temperature superconducting magnet cables will enable more practical fusion magnets, the next generation of very high field scientific magnets, and magnets for grid energy storage and for proton cancer treatment facilities.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 499.96K | Year: 2014

The Navy is seeking a new light-weight Atmospheric Diving Suit (ADS) design. This suit must be less than 400 lbs; at this weight a diver will be able to self-propel using his legs and fins. The system must ensure the divers safety at a working depth of 1000 ft of sea-water; protecting the body from the high external pressure at depth, while providing a sustainable 1 ATM internal pressure. Mide in partnership with MIT propose to create a next generation ADS built from four innovative approaches. Firstly, Mide will carefully design a composite outer shell for the ADS to drop overall weight considerably over current aluminum designs. Secondly, the team will use lessons learned from MIT's Bio-Suit Mechanical Counter Pressure Space Suit Design. Most notably the concept of "Lines of Non-Extension" (LoNE). The LoNE are lines along the body that do not strain during articulation, which will be ideal locations for rigid substructure in the joints. Thirdly, Mide will use super-elastic shape-memory-alloys to enhance joint design, by adding flex while still providing structural rigidity. Fourthly, Mid will investigate layered metal/urethane sandwich sections to enable joints that are strong in compression (will not compress axially), but can bend with relative ease.


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

Deep borehole disposal of high level nuclear waste has been acknowledged by most experts as the best and safest method to permanently dispose the large volumes/ tons of such waste that have been generated (military and civilian) and surface stored over many decades at various sites around the country. Surface storage of such materials is not ideal. The cost of the required wells (drilling and completion) is estimated at $20-$40 million each and hundreds of such wells are needed for the volumes of waste amassed to date. Methods to lower cost and add additional layers of sealing barriers are desired as this disposal program advances. High energy millimeter wave (MMW) technology, in the 20 to 300 GHz frequency range that was developed for fusion energy research, can be efficiently transported through boreholes over long distances, to over 5 kilometer (16,500 feet) in depth, and can drill into hard crystalline rock formations. The impacted rocks (e.g. granites and basalts) will melt and form a solid, dense, impermeable glass melt seal in the wellbore for permanent entombment of any waste below. A new MMW drilling capability can drill smaller diameter, deeper boreholes to allow the use of higher vitrification waste loadings, reducing waste volumes and have a multiplicative effect on reducing the entire cost of nuclear waste disposal from processing to disposal. Phase I will include analysis of this approach and bench test experiments including at least one rock melt demonstration using a 10 kiloWatt (kW) MMW source to form a rock-melt plug/ seal in a pre-drilled rock bore. In addition, high temperature furnace melt tests on various materials will form the basis for later comparative testing to the standard cement. Phase II will further demonstrate MMW melting with the goal to determine the most optimal conditions to create solid impermeable melt plugs from various rock, metal and other materials. Furnace tests will be expanded to melt different materials for further improvements. Strength and permeability tests on the melt specimens are planned to compare to cements and other materials. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Commercialization of this technology can proceed rapidly after limited testing with a higher powered MMW source to confirm the findings from Phase II of this project. Commercial applications using the higher powered units include mining and tunneling through hard rock, drilling and lining wellbores, even very deep geothermal wells, hydraulic fracturing shales and geothermal granites, as well as permanently sealing nuclear wastes in deep rock vaults.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.00M | Year: 2014

Deep borehole disposal of high level nuclear waste has been acknowledged by most experts as the best and safest method to permanently dispose the large volumes/ tons of such waste that have been generated (military and civilian) and surface stored over many decades at various sites around the country. Surface storage of such materials is not ideal. The cost of the required wells (drilling and completion) is estimated at $20-$40 million each and hundreds of such wells are needed for the volumes of waste amassed to date. Methods to lower cost and add additional layers of sealing barriers are desired as this disposal program advances. High energy millimeter wave (MMW) technology, in the 20 to 300 GHz frequency range that was developed for fusion energy research, can be efficiently transported through boreholes over long distances, to over 5 kilometer (16,500 feet) in depth, and can drill into hard crystalline rock formations. The impacted rocks (e.g. granites and basalts) will melt and form a solid, dense, impermeable glass melt seal in the wellbore for permanent entombment of any waste below. A new MMW drilling capability can drill smaller diameter, deeper boreholes to allow the use of higher vitrification waste loadings, reducing waste volumes and have a multiplicative effect on reducing the entire cost of nuclear waste disposal from processing to disposal. Phase I will include analysis of this approach and bench test experiments including at least one rock melt demonstration using a 10 kiloWatt (kW) MMW source to form a rock-melt plug/ seal in a pre-drilled rock bore. In addition, high temperature furnace melt tests on various materials will form the basis for later comparative testing to the standard cement. Phase II will further demonstrate MMW melting with the goal to determine the most optimal conditions to create solid impermeable melt plugs from various rock, metal and other materials. Furnace tests will be expanded to melt different materials for further improvements. Strength and permeability tests on the melt specimens are planned to compare to cements and other materials. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Commercialization of this technology can proceed rapidly after limited testing with a higher powered MMW source to confirm the findings from Phase II of this project. Commercial applications using the higher powered units include mining and tunneling through hard rock, drilling and lining wellbores, even very deep geothermal wells, hydraulic fracturing shales and geothermal granites, as well as permanently sealing nuclear wastes in deep rock vaults.

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