|Acquisition Program: || Objective: ||To develop materials and processes for use in sustainable military base camps to reduce heat signatures emanating from base camp through the use of advanced insulating materials in conjunction with thin-film thermoelectric generators and embedded batteries.
|| Description: ||Base camps require reduction in heat signature to maintain low-observable (or stealth) capabilities. Personnel and equipment within the base camps generate characteristic heat signatures that can reveal the location, presence of personnel and electronic equipment, and may provide some indication of activities and OPTEMPO.
However, future base camps must reduce their heat signature for both the warfighter and the sustainment force. Emerging materials will be used in military base camps construction in many different climates to reduce heat signatures through the use of high efficiency insulating materials and thermoelectric coolers, which synergistically reduce radiated heat. Solid state devices can be embedded in layered composite fabric that offer high stiffness/high strength to weight ratios and are durable in harsh environments, such as desert heat. Such devices can be used to reduce the infrared radiation emanating from personnel or critical electronic equipment, e.g., for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Information, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR).
Thermoelectric Peltier devices can transfer heat from one side of the device to the other side against the temperature gradient (from cold to hot), with consumption of electrical energy. The power to drive the Peltier devices would be derived from the integrated photovoltaics on the top layer, or thin film batteries embedded into the composite structural material. The use of insulating composite fabric layers would help to insure thermal efficiency of the system. These relatively light-weight materials could reduce logistics burden of transporting heavy air conditioning (A/C) systems and the weight burden of deploying heavy electricity generators.
|| ||PHASE I: Conduct research on the materials and processes to integrate innovative solid state power supply and thermal signature management capability into materials for military base camps. For example, emerging thin film inexpensive polycrystalline silicon based photovoltaic devices and thin film batteries, or supercapacitors, along with thermoelectric devices and insulators could be embedded into composite layers of tent fabric to provide 2,500 watts of electric power for an enclosure of typically 200 cubic meters for solid state cooling devices and other equipment. Investigate the use of lightweight (~1.5 g/cc) layered composite fabric with high stiffness (e.g., 80 GPa) and strength (~ 3.5 GPa), for use in in multiple environments, which contain insulating layers to provide additional thermal management. The target heat dissipation goal is ~10,000 BTU/h. Predict the efficiency of the composite multifunctional materials for thermal signature reduction. Demonstrate the capabilities at the laboratory scale, and down-select the most promising technologies for further development. Although the light weight feature is desirable, it can be sacrificed if necessary to achieve the other multifunctionalities.
|| ||PHASE II: Design and test high strength lightweight multi-layered materials that for base camps shelters that protect personnel and equipment from inclement weather, high heat and humidity, and wind blown debris, which harness advanced embedded power systems to provide heat signature reduction on the surface of the base camp in military critical facilities, such as Command Control Communication, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) equipment and facilities. Develop manufacturing methods to produce these layered materials, with the approach of scaling up to full sized smart sustainable base camp construction materials
|| ||PHASE III: Commercialize multi-layered construction materials that incorporate power generating and thermal management components for use in both military and non-military buildings and structures, including industrial environments. It is anticipated that commercialization will be achieved through co-operative agreements between the SBIR Company and their partners as well as well-established maanufacturers of innovative fabric structures, thermo-electric coolers, and photovoltaic design and manufacturing companies. The resulting structural components would not only provide structural protection, but would also provide low observable capabilities. In addition, the materials would be readily portable and could be used for tents used by campers in multiple and diverse climates.
|| References: ||
1. O. Kunz, Z. Ouyang, J.Wong, and A. G. Aberle1, “Advances in Evaporated Solid-Phase-Crystallized Poly-Si Thin-Film Solar Cells on Glass (EVA),”Advances in OptoElectronics, Article ID 532351, pp. 1-7, 2008.
2. Ji Yeong Lee, Kay Hyeok An Jeong Ku Heo, and Young Hee Lee, “Fabrication of Supercapacitor Electrodes Using Fluorinated Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes,” J. Phys. Chem. B, 107 (34), pp 8812–8815, 2003.
3. Hu, Eric; Kaynak, Akif; Li, Yuncang, “Development of a cooling fabric from conducting fibers: proof of concept,” Synthetic Metals, Vol 150, 2, pp.139-143, 2005.
4. Dubi, Y., and M. Di Ventra, "Thermoelectric Effects in Nanoscale Junctions," Nanoletters 9 (1), pp. 97-101, 2009.|
|Keywords: ||base camps, heat signature, photovoltaics, insulating layers, Peltier device |