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Burlington, MA, United States

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.99K | Year: 2012

The ability to function in a broad range of operational conditions drives the IR windows and domes on Advanced Aircraft and Missiles. In addition to transparency, these windows and domes have to provide additional functionality such as EMI shielding, anti/de-fogging, and anti/deicing. Each of these functions requires that, in addition to being transparent, the window or dome has to be at least partially conductive. In most cases, the conductivity is added through the use of coatings or patterned metallic grids. For visible applications, transparent conductive coatings like indium tin oxide (ITO) are available. However, these coatings become highly absorbing at longer wavelengths. For MWIR and LWIR applications conductivity are generally provided by patterned metal grids, which are not transparent and produce scattering and reflections. Grids are made to work when there is no alternative; however, a suitable transparent conductive coating is clearly preferable for advanced applications like the targeting system of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). In this effort, Surmet proposes to use a layered coating approach for sensor windows with high transparency in the MWIR and sheet resistances lower than 10 ohms/sq. Coated samples will also be tested for sand and rain erosion using in-house equipment.

The invention pertains to hardware such as cutting tools with improved performance, wear-resistance and durability made from sintered polycrystalline aluminum nitride based ceramic composites containing secondary or dispersed phases for enhanced toughness. The articles of this invention provide good hardness, toughness, chemical inertness, thermal stability, lubricity, wear-resistance, and the ability to operate in the presence of liquid coolants, yielding good surface finish and long lifetime. The cutting tools of this invention are applicable to a wide range of industrial, biomedical, commercial and other applications.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Special Operations Command | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

"Current glass-based transparent armor has two major deficiencies: 1) It is very heavy, and therefore can compromise performance and helicopter transportability of vehicles; and 2) It is very thick, and therefore can compromise visual signature of vehicles. Advanced technology ceramic transparent armor removes both these deficiencies and provides a twofold improvement in performance, but costs 6-10 times more than glass-based armor, making it unaffordable for fielding in significant numbers. Through this SBIR, Surmet will demonstrate innovative technology to produce lightweight yet affordable transparent armor for ground vehicles. The Phase I program will include analyses and key experiments to prove feasibility of this technology. Phase II work will implement the technology to manufacture prototype components, and take the technology to a"commercialization ready"stage. Surmet is already supplying advanced technology transparent armor for military helicopters, and is targeting cost reductions to make this technology viable for ground vehicle systems."

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

The proposal addresses a demand in High-Energy Physics for radiation-insensitive high-thermal-conductivity adhesives. Adhesives play an active role in keeping electronic devices cool by conducting heat away, thus increasing reliability. A radiation-tolerant adhesive exhibiting high thermal conductivity is strongly desired. Surmet proposes to develop a novel adhesive formulation that uses Aluminum Nitride (AlN) as a high-thermal-conductivity filler. AlN is radiation insensitive and possesses a thermal conductivity four times greater than carbon steel. Surmet is the only US-based company that manufactures AlN in multiple grades it has produced and commercialized AlN in tonnage quantities for over 15 years. Our objective is to develop, test and fabricate prototypes of the adhesive in Phase I. The subsequent Phase II would focus on scale-up and manufacturing procedures. Our adhesive will be tested at service conditions. Some field testing may be performed in cooperation with research institutes such as FermiLab. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: In addition to High-Energy Physics, Surmets high-thermal-conductivity adhesives will be applicable to electronics thermal management, not only providing excellent heat removal performance, but also will provide improved reliability and be better suited for electronics system manufacture. Successful development of our concept for the above applications will be directly applicable to wide range of thermal management applications, serving a variety of military and industrial power electronics, optics/laser, telecommunications, and thermonuclear fusion power generation hardware markets.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 969.67K | Year: 2012

Multimode seekers are receiving significant attention as a way to provide more capability in the same package. In some cases, both optical and millimeter wave seekers are being combined in a way that requires a common aperture. The requirements for such a system place a tremendous burden on the design and fabrication of the dome. Optical fabrication costs for multi-mode seeker domes can be very high. Consequently, it is important to know that a starting dome blank is of sufficient quality to yield a compliant dome, prior to beginning fabrication. This can be achieved by inspection polishing and evaluating each dome blank prior to final fabrication. While this method works, it prohibitively expensive to do on every dome blank. Consequently, this step is either omitted or performed only on a representative blank from each"batch". An alternative approach is to develop a method of performing a thorough evaluation of a dome blank with a ground surfaces. In the phase I effort Surmet has demonstrated a process for doing this on 4"diameter subscale domes. Under the Phase II effort the process will be further optimized, automated, and scaled to allow inspection of 7 inch diameter nearly hemispherical domes.

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