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Blacksburg, VA, United States

Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015

NanoSonic has developed revolutionary multifunctional, super lightweight, self-healing and radiation shielding carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites as a viable lightweight material for space applications such as primary or secondary structures on NASA vehicles, habitat modules, and pressure vessel structures. While current composites are lightweight, they do not offer reliable methods for damage inspection. These advanced materials offer the ability to self-heal upon impact and allow for micro crack damage inspection via DC or RF measurements. During the Phase I program, this phenomenon was demonstrated on multifunctional smart structural composites consisting of: carbon fiber plies, NanoSonic's Thoraeus Rubber™ Kevlar Lightweight Shieling Veils (LSV), and our conductive self-healing microcapsules. The innovative microcapsules are comprised of a corrosion resistant HybridShield polymer shell, a resin-rich core of self-repairing, room temperature curing polymer, and Al nanoparticles to impart EMI and radiation shielding as well as a conductive pathway between the conductive Thoraeus Rubber veils to monitor both damage and repair via RF measurements. NanoSonic is working with Colorado State University, ILC Dover, and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company to increase the TRL of this technology from 5-7 during the Phase II program via mechanical, RF, and radiation shielding measurements and space qualification testing.


Grant
Agency: Department of Transportation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015

NanoSonic will work with the Giles County School System and Leidos transportation engineers to develop STEM lesson plans concerning ITS and CV technologies, and will demonstrate their use in the classroom with Middle School and High School teachers and students. During Phase I, twenty draft lesson plans were developed, ten for Middle School and ten for High School. During Phase II, these plans would be used in after-­‐school ITS STEM classes, at three Giles County schools during Year 1 and at all County schools during Year 2, and in ITS STEM Summer Camps. Approximately twenty additional lesson plans would be developed, focusing on hands-­‐on demonstrations of CV concepts. The lessons would be NanoSonic will work with the Giles County School System and Leidos transportation engineers to develop STEM lesson plans concerning ITS and CV technologies, and will demonstrate their use in the classroom with Middle School and High School teachers and students. During Phase I, twenty draft lesson plans were developed, ten for Middle School and ten for High School. During Phase II, these plans would be used in after-­‐school ITS STEM classes, at three Giles County schools during Year 1 and at all County schools during Year 2, and in ITS STEM Summer Camps. Approximately twenty additional lesson plans would be developed, focusing on hands-­‐on demonstrations of CV concepts. The lessons would be revised in response to reviews from a group of external evaluators, and the final plans and supporting materials would be delivered to the Department of Transportation for free distribution. Commercial products resulting from the Phase II program will include customized demonstration hardware kits corresponding to multiple ITS lessons, a boxed ITS Road Trip board game, and professionally printed, durable copies of lesson plans and supporting information for teachers, students and career counselors. Potential commercial partners, other school districts, and multiple government agencies have expressed interest in this program.


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

Current and future communication and computer networks require affordable, high performance interconnecting wires and cables to take advantage of ultra high-speed communication transmission lines and computational hardware. Existing singlemode optical fiber interconnects are expensive and difficult to install by local users and consumers. To address this problem, NanoSonic is developing low-cost, easily handled polymer optical fibers with bandwidth-distance products greater than 1GHz.km. Short length interconnects of such fibers would allow the transmission of 10 Gb/sec data tens of meters with negligible degradation. During Phase I, NanoSonic demonstrated the feasibility of fabricating graded index polymer optical fibers using its patented molecular-level self-assembly nanotechnology manufacturing processes. Grading the index of the fiber allows higher bandwidth-distance product, as well as dispersion shifting and dispersion flattening important to maximize the number of parallel channels in dense wavelength division multiplexed (DWDM) systems. Polymer fibers made using conventional methods do not allow the type of index modifications required to achieve such performance. Polymer optical fiber preforms were made by self-assembly, and preforms were collapsed and drawn to create prototype optical fibers. Initial measurements indicated performance close to that modeled. During Phase II, NanoSonic would work with the Polymicro subsidiary of Molex Inc., a major U.S. manufacturer of optical fiber cables and interconnects, to fabricate and evaluate improved polymer fiber prototypes. First, Phase I manufacturing equipment would be redesigned and reconstructed to incorporate proportional-integral-derivative (PID) feedback control. This would reduce errors in fiber diameter control over long lengths encountered during Phase I, allow the continuous production of kilometers of fiber that meets specifications, and maximize output per unit time while minimizing waste. Polymicro would assist with equipment design based on many years experience manufacturing specialized glass optical fiber products. Second, multiple groups, including Virginia Techs campus communication and computer network, DOE Berkeley and Oak Ridge laboratories, a regional telephone cooperative, a multi-school system data network, and two large U.S. technology companies, would perform beta site testing of short length polymer fiber interconnects. Beta test sites would potentially include GENI and ESnet hardware. Commercial Applications: The primary application of the graded index polymer fibers produced through this program would be as short length interconnects in high speed communication and computer networks - in other words, as low cost jumper cables up to a few hundred feet in length. Extended applications could include use as fibers with dispersion flattened spectral response that allows increased DWDM channel capacity; complex index grading enabled by self-assembly permits the fabrication of such waveguides.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: NanoSonic has successfully transitioned our high-strength-to-weight ratio, flexible, yet high strength, aramid-based, noble metal nanoparticle modified metamaterials into EM tailored Thoraeus Rubber (TR) composites. During Phase I, NanoSonic demonstrated ultra-low mass density (0.58 g/cc) Metal Rubber-Kevlar Veil (MR-KV) composites with uniform transmission loss (up to 100 dB loss at 2 18 GHz) that maintain EM properties under mechanical strain down to -50 C, upon extreme heat (blow torch exposure), and at low frequency post irradiation under a 60Co source. These tough composites resist damaging chemicals, are nickel-free to mitigate galvanic corrosion, and shall be transitioned onto Satellite Communication (SATCOM) systems as a simple and cost effective material solution to assure electronics protection (EP) on space-based Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) against harsh natural or manmade EM environments. NanoSonic has partnered with Lockheed Martin (LM) to verify survivability under intense EM and radiation threats. LM shall assist with qualifying TR materials using MIL-STD techniques (e.g. MIL-STD-188-146) to verify shielding effectiveness performance against a variety of radiating EM sources to confirm that it can be utilized with existing aeronautical equipment that requires high levels of EM shielding. BENEFIT: NanoSonic would primarily develop its Metal Rubber modified Kevlar based composites as part of the Thoraeus Rubber (TR) family of materials as a super lightweight shielding alternative to heavy metal containers, metal foils, and other heavy attached shielding structures. The innovative lightweight TR nanocomposites would be primarily transitioned to protect sensors/circuits within space vehicles and aircraft against harsh EM environments. Our unique TR composites shall serve a broad range of military and civilian applications including avionic and communication systems on board commercial aircraft from low energy personal electronic devices to higher onboard stray radar energy. Dual-use military applications for various forms of TR nanocomposites include highly mechanically robust EMI and radiation shielding appliques. Additional applications include lightning strike protection and RF shielding for large area structures and sensors. Additional dual-use civil applications for TR include civilian electronic shielding applications such as cellular phones, sensitive electronics in electronically noisy environments, and sensor systems which may require above average lightweight shielding materials. Additional civil and homeland security applications include garments for the U.S. warfighter, first responders to environments with radiation dispersal devices or dirty bombs, and medical physicians/patients that may be exposed to radiation. Conceptually similar multifunctional nanocomposites are being developed for other applications by NanoSonic based on our Metal Rubber and HybridSil Family of materials, in the electronics, aerospace and defense and biomedical engineering areas. Metal Rubber based materials and textiles are available for sale through our website, www.nanosonic.com, in limited sizes and shapes and with a limited number of properties; and in scaled amounts with custom properties tailored for each customer via contracting.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 500.00K | Year: 2015

Through its NAVSEA SBIR program, NanoSonic has designed, synthesized, and empirically validated an innovative low-cost, easily applied VOC-free HybridSil CRES pipe leak repairing resin that readily seals pressurized CRES pipes, withstands continuous pipe pressures beyond 350 psi within JP-5 fuel, and prevents crevice corrosion during ASTM B117 salt fog corrosion testing. To meet this challenge, NanoSonic molecularly engineered its state-of-the-art anticorrosion coating technology for 1) exceptional adhesion to CRES 316 L pipes without the need for extensive, time consuming surface preparation, 2) rapidly repairing damaged CRES weld joints (defects between 1/8 to 1 in length) within 15-minute of resin activation, 3) withstanding extended pressurization at 350 psi within JP-5 filled CRES pipes, and 4) facile deposition techniques for repairing damaged pipe areas within very limited work space. NanoSonics Phase I down-selected HybridSil CRES pipe repairing material has also demonstrated complete dimensional stability after more than 4-months of JP-5 submersion. Equally important, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of the > 4-month exposed JP-5 fuel reveals no spectroscopic evidence of contamination. The extreme environmental durability of NanoSonics CRES pipe repairing material has been demonstrated through abrasion analysis (ASTM D4060), mechanical testing (ASTM D 638), and salt fog corrosion exposure (ASTM B117).

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