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Columbus, OH, United States

Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 729.21K | Year: 2006

The Army seeks significant improvements in the protection of military targets through its use of infrared obscurants (IROs). Specifically, it calls for an order of magnitude improvement on the infrared extinction coefficient, while also minimizing costs. Existing obscurant technologies with organics, metal flakes, and graphite are inherently limited in their performance. The Army recognizes that the unique properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) offer a potential solution. Unfortunately, existing CNT production methods, laser, arc discharge, and high pressure CO, are far too expensive to consider for the mass production necessary for obscurants applications. During Phase I research NanoDynamics demonstrated combustion based processes to produce multiwall CNTs as well as significantly higher extinction coefficients as compared to materials such as graphite. The proposed combustion processes can be readily scaled to bulk production and some of these processes can be adapted to run in a continuous manner, directly forming well dispersed CNTs in the field. Phase II research will be focused on the production of optimized CNTs for testing by the Army. Additional work will include investigating scale-up towards bulk production levels and on-demand, well dispersed production technologies that will enable direct production in dedicated field units as well as vehicle exhaust streams.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2004

The threat of biological warfare has mandated the need for decontamination methodologies for the military and civilian sectors. Use of chemical agents for decontamination is unfavorable due to their residual nature and potential toxicity to humans and the environment. Both ultraviolet (UV) and x-ray sources have been used individually for bio-decontamination. Currently, there is no combined UV / x-ray source available for use either for bio-decontamintion or any other application. Recent advances in nanoparticle technology have produced nanophosphors which produce, with electron beam excitation, bright emissions in the UV energy range. Likewise, a highly efficient, compact and unique x-ray source has been developed having a flux output two orders of magnitude greater than standard, off-the-shelf x-ray tubes. The goal here is to use this exceedingly bright x-ray source to excite the novel nanophosphors to produce UV emissions, simultaneously resulting in intense UV and x-ray energies. Such a combined and compact UV / x-ray source will be portable and have major advantages for biological decontamination for both military and civilian applications.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 120.00K | Year: 2008

Infrared obscurants are commonly used to screen soldiers and assets from enemy threat. In order to improve this countermeasure, materials superior to currently used brass and graphite flakes are required. Nano-thick metallic flakes have recently been demonstrated to achieve superior performance in terms of mass extinction, which likely will lead to a higher Figure of Merit defined by the U.S. Army. Similar metallic flakes are made at tonnage scales for demanding applications such as Electronics. The proposed SBIR project will be executed by experienced metallic flake scientists, Gregory Berube of NanoDynamics and Dr. Dan Goia at Clarkson University. A metallic flake will be developed leading to a Figure of Merit of at least four using a process allowing for easy scalability to manufacturing scale. In design of the flake, consideration will be taken toward not only selecting the right metal system, but also an organic system that allows for environmental stability of the flake while maximizing fill factor and dissemination yield. Then, the Candidate Flake will be demonstrated at a scale of at least 500 grams at a pilot plant scale while maintaining a high Figure of Merit. This pilot material will be validated by the Army through chamber testing.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.33K | Year: 2008

Technology is rapidly advancing both in the area of thermoelectric (TE) modules and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). Advanced solid oxide fuel cells are theoretically capable of converting over 60% of the energy available in the fuel (based on the fuels lower heating value) to electricity at operating temperatures around 800 degrees C. The remaining 40% of the energy is converted to heat. With the development of high performance thermoelectric materials, it now appears that a significant portion of the waste heat produced by an SOFC system can be converted into useable electrical energy by thermoelectric devices. An integrated SOFC-TE hybrid, therefore, offers the potential of increased efficiency (lower fuel consumption) than a conventional SOFC. This project proposes a parametric investigation of the integration of the application of advanced SOFC and thermoelectric technologies to maximize the efficiency of a portable power generator with 250Watts of net output power. A laboratory test of a thermoelectric device heated by a solid oxide fuel cell is also discussed. A conceptual design of the integrated 250 Watt SOFC-TE power system will be created.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 364.97K | Year: 2008

Infrared obscurants are commonly used to screen soldiers and assets from enemy threat. In order to improve this countermeasure, materials superior to currently used brass and graphite flakes are required. Nano-thick metallic flakes have recently been demonstrated to achieve superior performance in terms of mass extinction, which likely will lead to a higher Figure of Merit defined by the US Army. Similar metallic flakes are made at tonnage scales for demanding applications such as electronics. Phase I demonstrated metallic flake species with mass extinction coefficients relative to brass exceeding the target of at least four times that of brass flake. Phase II will demonstrate a process that can be used for commercial scale production, as well as address dissemination issues needed to further enhance the Figure of Merit. NanoDynamics will deliver several samples to the Army for chamber and grenade testing. Teaming will be with Clarkson University, a legacy group in the Obscurants research community; as well as IIMAK, a global leader in the manufacturing and development of printing, imaging, and marking consumable supplies.

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