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Beavercreek, OH, United States

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.84K | Year: 2007

A unified project comprising basic research and technology development is proposed to address all important issues critical to the design, fabrication, testing, and implementation of an integrated micro thruster and power-generation system. This program will fully utilize the state-of-art and projected technologies in the areas of energy conversion and micro fabrication. A novel design of the ignition and combustion module, augmented by an optimized system architecture, will be implemented to substantially enhance the system performance and operating regime. The system can be used as a stand-alone thruster delivering a wide range of thrust for both continuous and pulse operations, or as a power generator when needed. Environmentally friendly propellants will be used and evaluated in terms of their ignition and combustion properties and handling characteristics. In addition, advanced experimental diagnostic and modeling techniques will be employed to explore the detailed flow evolution and combustion dynamics, as well as the energy-conversion efficiency, in the proposed system. Results will further optimize the overall system performance, operability, and durability.

Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.21K | Year: 2002

The goal of the proposed research is to develop an advanced technology for producing lightweight, robust multifunctional spacecraft coatings with both sensing and surface protection capabilities in a single technological process. This research addresses the critical need for innovative technologies that enable the nanoscale structure control in advanced materials for space applications. The state-of-the-art technologies to produce high-quality aerospace materials are predominantly based on top-down approaches and offer a very limited structure control when characteristic microstructure dimensions approach 100nm. This proposal seeks to explore a novel approach for the synthesis of advanced materials with the atomic-scale control over the size of periodic features on the sub-30 nm scale. The key innovative aspect of this research is the development of a technique for the confined growth of spatially separated nanostructures in a porous host template. This template, an array of cylindrical pores, will be fabricated via biologically inspired hierarchical self-assembly of organic surfactant molecules in the presence of inorganic charged species. Layers of nanostructured functional materials will be sequentially grown inside the pores to form a periodic sensor array on the bottom and nanostructured protective coatings on the top of the coating. The proposed technique is general and can be applied to various types of aerospace structures from nanoelectronics to selective frame reinforcement.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.70K | Year: 2003

This SBIR will investigate the use of bleed slots to control shock wave/turbulent-boundary-layer interactions within the isolator of a scramjet engine. A successful control strategy for shock wave motion can prevent inlet unstart and lead to the design ofa shorter isolator yielding reduced system drag and weight. The optimal location and size of the bleed slots will be determined using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) employing Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) methods. The effectiveness of thebleed design will be demonstrated over a range of Mach numbers, boundary layer displacement thicknesses and effective back pressures. The bleed slot design will be tested experimentally and the required mass removal rate to achieve the desired performancewill be quantified. CFD will also be used to determine the time scale associated with the shock train movement due to changes in the back pressure. The information will assist the development of an active control system for shock stabilization that will bea major part of the Phase II effort. For the design of scramjet engines, the development of effective isolators to contain the pressure rise generated by heat release within the combustor is critical. The proposed Phase I control device employing bleedslots can be used to build innovative designs for reducing the risk of inlet unstart, while decreasing the overall system drag and weight associated with long isolators. In addition, CFD analysis can provide time-accurate prediction tools to facilitate thedesign of efficient isolators and guide the development of lower-order prediction tools that can be used for isolator design in a more cost-effective manner.The control devices and analytical tools to be developed in Phase II of the proposed research program will provide very attractive alternatives to those currently in use or being considered for military and commercial use. Moreover, the control device willbe applicable not only to scramjet engine isolators, but also to other parts of the engine such as over-contracted inlets. The commercial strategy is to market the design tool to both military and commercial aircraft customers. All major airframe andengine manufacturers, e.g., Boeing Company, Lockheed-Martin, GE Aircraft Engines, and Pratt-Whitney, should be potential customers.

Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 98.12K | Year: 2003

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project addresses development of an epoxy-less fiber pigtailing technology using anodic fiber bonding appropriate for use with telecommunications transmitters or receivers, or for integration of sensors directly with fibers. The subgoals include: development of the anodic bonding technology for parallel fiber; modeling of the stress distribution in the fiber due to this bonding; characterization of the strength of the fiber-to-Si bond; and, fabrication of a prototype Si bench with a V-groove suitable for passive alignment of fiber to an active device and measurement of the thermal stability of the coupling efficiency. This is based on a solid body of preliminary work, including demonstration of facet-to-Si anodic bonding, and development of telecommunications modules using epoxied fiber-in-a-V-groove to telecommunication laser characterization The research will result in unprecedented levels of cost effectiveness, device performance, miniaturization, and ruggedness of a variety of photonic devices. This will substantially increase U.S. competitiveness in international microelectronics production, new fabrication and assembly technologies. Applications may be found in detection, telecommunications, information processing, micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems (MOEMS), and X-ray device technologies.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 0.00 | Year: 2003

Silicon carbide power electronics are required in a variety of Air Force missions such as enabling the development of the More Electric Aircraft (MEA) and advancing the development of space-based vehicles and systems that have high temperature and highpower operating conditions. A true FBL (Fly-By-Light)/PBW (Power-By-Wire) system will require a simple lightweight interface in which components of a vehicle management system are controlled optically and powered electrically. Two light activatedtransistors based on silicon carbide are proposed in this Phase II program. A Darlington pair and an IGBT based design capable of switching current loads up to 150A will be modeled and fabricated during this program. The device design is based on systemrequirements for typical actuator control systems. A key near term goal for the program is to enable a photonic vehicle management system for the Air Force's Advanced Vehicle Management Program. Initial system analyses of vehicle management systems showthat significant weight savings may be obtained using the light activated device (up to 32 lbs per actuator). A well-focussed team with Taitech, Inc., the University of Cincinnati and CREE Research, Inc. has been assembled to pursue a path towardcommercialization of the proposed device.High power optical switches are essential for future air and space vehicles to provide improved performance without significant cost increase such as the More Electric Aircraft (MEA). Such switching technologies also are desirable for high temperatureapplications in power plants, microwave electronics for radar communications and space-based communication systems. The proposed device is essential for enabling future lightweight aircraft control systems.

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