SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  N07-092 (Navy)
Title:  Miniaturized, Vibration Hardened Drive Electronics For Compressors
Research & Technical Areas:  Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace

Acquisition Program:  Radio Frequency Antennas & Topside Program PMW 180
 RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): This topic is “ITAR Restricted”. The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120 - 130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign Citizens may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the “Permanent Resident Card”, or are designated as “Protected Individuals” as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.
  Objective:  Development of a robust, compact set of drive electronics for medium power (300W-900W) compressors.
  Description:  Compressors are needed in many naval systems, especially where the working fluid is used for many cycles. Medium power compressors in the 300 to 900 Watt range are especially required for driving the closed cycle coolers needed for the power amplifiers of single antenna RF transmitters and directly digitizing, cryogenic receivers. The cold heads of the latter are being developed from space qualified designs to insure long lives with zero maintenance. But the compressor control electronics clearly needs to be reworked as the space community's extreme concern with the export of vibration and radiation hardness and tolerance of > $100K costs are not shared by the tactical community which is more concerned by the deleterious effect of imported vibration and environmental temperature swings. In most cases, the power wave form required is a sine wave of frequency less than 100 Hz. System sensors and on-board calibration tables should dynamically adjust the output amplitude and phase and confirm the continued health of the attached cooler. Where 2 linear motors are mounted with oppositely directed strokes to minimize the production of vibration, slightly different settings for each are sometimes desirable. Power efficiency is very important and in the past has been thought to require the use of Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) drive technology. Switching amps, say of SiC, might also be considered. It is desirable for the final package to fit on a single circuit card and cost < $300 if purchased in volumes of 1000 copies per year. The system must be able to tolerate widely varying supply voltages, power quality, and ambient temperatures. Whether the use of MIL-SPEC compliant or redundant components would guarantee 100% availability under tactical vibration and shock loading should be evaluated.

  PHASE I: Phase I should produce a detailed design of the electronics package including simulated performance of an attached compressor. The compressor/system model can be obtained by teaming with an established cryocooler company or by consulting the extensive literature in the subject, such as the Proceedings of the biennial Cryogenic Engineering Conference (CEC).
  PHASE II: Phase II should result in a completed prototype with sufficient laboratory testing to establish applicability to a compressor or cryocooler system as well as compliance with relevant vibration standards.

  PHASE III: In Phase III, the small business is expected to transition the prototype to a full development phase with production plans corresponding to one or more specific military systems employing compressors and/or cryocoolers. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/

  DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Wireless communications base stations already use cryo-cooled filters and further advances toward direct reception are anticipated. In addition, the high power dissipation densities of modern high speed digital electronics and power amplifiers are making cooling fans insufficient for thermal management. Active, closed cycle cooling is the next step.

  References:  1. R.J. Glaser, J.A. Garba, M.W. Obal, “STRV-1B Cryocooler Vibration Suppression”, 36th AIAA, SDM, New Orleans , LA, 1995; 2. Kuo,C.P., “Coldfinger Motion Suppression Using A Ceramic Applique,” Proceeding of SPIE’ Smart Structures and Materials Conference ’93, Jan31-Feb4,1993, Albuquerque; 3. Olsen, H.F. “Electronic Control of Noise, Vibration, and Reverberation”, Journal Acoustical Society, Vol. 28, Sept. 1956, pp 966-972 4. A. Syed, E. Ahmed, and D. Maksimovic, “Digital Pulse Width Modulator Architectures,” 35th Annual IEEE Power Electronics Specialists Conference, Aachen, Germany, 2004, pp. 4689 ff. (http://ece-www.colorado.edu/~pwrelect/pubarch/01354828.pdf)

Keywords:  compressors, cryocooler; drive electronics; vibration control; pulse-width modulation; sine wave generation

Additional Information, Corrections, References, etc:
Ref #1: Available online through AIAA electronic library.
Ref #1: Available online through AIAA electronic library.
Ref #2: Available online through SPIE Digital Library.
Ref #2: Available online through SPIE Digital Library.
Ref #3: Available through online document delivery services.
Ref #3: Available through online document delivery services.

Questions and Answers:
Q: What are the power converter's required specs (for both the supply input and the load output) for voltage, current, frequency, temperature, power quality, and EMI?
A: It is desired to operate this compressor controller and the compressor in a variety of military settings, to include airplanes, manned surface combattants, vehicles, and government labs. For the purposes of the phase 1, the vendor can assume the power supplied to their unit corresponds to the standard supplies of any of these settings. In particular for ships, it is normal to have available 60 Hz, either 440V or 115V. The spec for shipboard power is MIL-STD-1399 Section 300A. For aircraft, 400Hz 115V is more common, and the interface specs are tighter. For future aircraft, 270V DC is an emerging standard. The NAVAIR spec for aircraft power is MIL-STD-704. The output voltage and current will be what is required to deliver with dynamically defined power levels in the 0-1kW range at frequencies in the <100 Hz range. In particular, it is highly desirable that the 2 outputs be supplied with separate user definable, arbitrary shaped power wave forms, controlled from a GUI. The input power supply should be assumed to be of poor quality, with much noise included. The output power waveform must accurately reflect the programmed desired waveform, not transfer the supply line noise. That said, the power efficiency of the control electronics is of greater importance. The unit must be able to function well over the entire mil spec temperature range without degrading and be air cooled. Small volume and weight are desirable. The unit must be able to withstand substantial and repeated shock force (to 250g in some
settings) while the unit is operating without issue, though requiring mounting in a shock isolation rack is acceptable. Similarly, continuous high vibration loading from the external environment is to be expected. The design must produce no detectable EMI emanating from the controller box since it will be packaged immediately adjacent to other electronics that acts to receive EM radiation.
Q: What is a "single circuit card" mounting surface area and maximum allowable distance from the circuit card surface a component may extend?
A: Card can be any size commonly used for custom designs, for which COTS connectors, etc exist. Similarly there is no formal maximum allowed height for component off the card. However, vendors should realize that air cooling is preferred , EMI must not be broadcast, and selection will partly be based on how small the vendors claim (believably) their parts will be.
Q: What are the power converter's required specs (for both the supply input and the load output) for voltage, current, frequency, temperature, power quality, and EMI?
A: It is desired to operate this compressor controller and the compressor in a variety of military settings, to include airplanes, manned surface combattants, vehicles, and government labs. For the purposes of the phase 1, the vendor can assume the power supplied to their unit corresponds to the standard supplies of any of these settings. In particular for ships, it is normal to have available 60 Hz, either 440V or 115V. The spec for shipboard power is MIL-STD-1399 Section 300A. For aircraft, 400Hz 115V is more common, and the interface specs are tighter. For future aircraft, 270V DC is an emerging standard. The NAVAIR spec for aircraft power is MIL-STD-704. The output voltage and current will be what is required to deliver with dynamically defined power levels in the 0-1kW range at frequencies in the <100 Hz range. In particular, it is highly desirable that the 2 outputs be supplied with separate user definable, arbitrary shaped power wave forms, controlled from a GUI. The input power supply should be assumed to be of poor quality, with much noise included. The output power waveform must accurately reflect the programmed desired waveform, not transfer the supply line noise. That said, the power efficiency of the control electronics is of greater importance. The unit must be able to function well over the entire mil spec temperature range without degrading and be air cooled. Small volume and weight are desirable. The unit must be able to withstand substantial and repeated shock force (to 250g in some
settings) while the unit is operating without issue, though requiring mounting in a shock isolation rack is acceptable. Similarly, continuous high vibration loading from the external environment is to be expected. The design must produce no detectable EMI emanating from the controller box since it will be packaged immediately adjacent to other electronics that acts to receive EM radiation.
Q: What is a "single circuit card" mounting surface area and maximum allowable distance from the circuit card surface a component may extend?
A: Card can be any size commonly used for custom designs, for which COTS connectors, etc exist. Similarly there is no formal maximum allowed height for component off the card. However, vendors should realize that air cooling is preferred , EMI must not be broadcast, and selection will partly be based on how small the vendors claim (believably) their parts will be.

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