SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  AF071-178 (AirForce)
Title:  High Performance, Compact Capacitors for Pulse Forming Networks
Research & Technical Areas:  Ground/Sea Vehicles, Weapons

  STATEMENT OF INTENT: Convert prime electrical energy into short pulses needed to energize loads
  Objective:  Develop state of the art, high performance, high energy density capacitor dielectrics for high voltage, pulse power applications.
  Description:  Compact, high energy density, pulse power capacitors will be the enabling technology for many future weapon systems the Department of Defense (DoD) plans to pursue. These capacitors will be used in pulse forming networks (PFNs) for the conversion of prime electrical energy into the necessary short pulses of energy needed to energize loads such as directed energy, kinetic energy weapons, and high power microwaves. State of the art concepts should primarily include novel dielectrics with high voltage breakdown strengths (>800 V/um), and a low loss (<1%) capability. Proposals may also include superior developments or improvements to impregnants, foils, conductors, and/or advanced packaging concepts that will enable leading edge, pulse power, high energy density capacitor capabilities with microsecond delivery rates. An energy density of >5 J/g for a packaged capacitor device is the objective. Emphasis is also on weight and size reductions for the pulse power capacitor device/concept. Attention to thermal management issues within the capacitor device is critical due to a need for increased life (>5,000 shots), increased pulse repetition rates to > 50 pulses per second (pps), and high voltage reversal tolerance (>50%); interconnects, packaging, and manufacturability issues are also to be highlighted. The proposed research should provide a substantial reduction in size, weight, and volume of the capacitor component over state of the art devices while delivering superior electrical and thermal performance.

  PHASE I: Demonstrate innovative capacitor approaches with substantial improvement in capacity, voltage breakdown strength, and dissipation factor. Prototype laboratory capacitors should be fabricated and tested to demonstrate the feasibility of the technology.
  PHASE II: Demonstrate the development of prototype capacitor components using innovative dielectric materials/impregnants, advanced high density packaging, manufacturing technology, or a combination thereof. Actual application testing should be performed and electrical, thermal, and life assessments made.

  DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: Military application: Military applications include high power microwaves, Air Force electronic attack, directed energy, and kinetic weapons for the DoD. Commercial application: Potential applications include portable pulsed power systems, rock-fragmenting, electric utilities, aircraft engine ignition systems, and deep oil and/or well drilling.

  References:   1. Weise, Th.H.G.G., Schuenemann, B., Mergenthaler, Ch., Grieb, T., and Weber, R., “High Energy Density Capacitors,” 2004 12th Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology, Snowbird, UT, 25-28 May 2005, pp.255-258. 2. Slenes, K.M. and Bragg, L.E., ”Compact Capacitor Technology for Future Electromagnetic Launch Applications,” 2004 12th Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology, Snowbird, UT, 25-28 May 2005, pp.243-247. 3. MacDougall, F.W., Yang, X.H., Ennis, J.B., Cooper, R.A., and Seal, K., “High Energy Density Capacitors for EML Applications,” 2004 12th Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology, Snowbird, UT, 25-28 May 2005, pp. 229-232. 4. Hudis, M., “Technology Evolution in Metallized Polymeric Film Capacitors Over the Past 10 Years,” in Proc. 16th Capacitor Resistor Technology Symp, New Orleans, LA, March 11-15, 1996, pp. 200-208. 5. Edwards, L.R., “Reliability Performance of Pulse Discharge Capacitors”, 17th Capacitor and Resistor Technology Symposium, Jupiter, FL, March 24-27, 1997, pp.292-297.

Keywords:  dielectrics, polymers, capacitors, impregnants, pulse forming networks, Marx bank, power electronics

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