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FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR

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Agency: Department of Energy
Program/Year: Both / 2014
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000969
Release Date: August 12, 2013
Open Date: August 12, 2013
Close Date: October 15, 2013
Description: The Department of Energy High Energy Physics program supports a broad research and development (R&D) effort in the science, engineering, and technology of charged particle accelerators, storage rings, and associated apparatus. Advanced R&D is needed in support of this research in high-field superconductor, superconducting magnet, and superconducting RF technologies. This topic addresses only those superconducting magnet development technologies that support dipoles, quadrupoles, and higher order multipole corrector magnets for use in accelerators, storage rings, and charged particle beam transport systems, and only those superconducting wire technologies that support long strand lengths suitable for winding magnets without splices.
b: Superconducting Magnet Technolog
Description: Grant applications are sought to develop: (1) improved instrumentation to measure properties (such as local strain, temperature, and magnetic field) which are directly applicable to the testing of superconducting magnets; (2) improved current lead and current distribution systems, based on high-temperature superconductors, for application to superconducting accelerator magnets requirements include an operating current level of 5 kA or greater, stability, low heat leak, and good quench performance; (3) alternative designs to traditional "cosine theta" dipole and "cosine two-theta" quadrupole magnets that may be more compatible with the more fragile Nb3Sn and HTS-high-field superconductors (including open midplane magnets that may be needed in a Muon Collider design); (4) designs for bent solenoids for muon collider applications; (5) improved industrial fabrication methods for magnets such as welding and forming; (6) improved cryostat and cryogenic techniques; (7) fast cycling HTS magnets capable of operation at or above 4T-s; (8) quench protection in HTS magnets and HTS-LTS hybrid magnets; (9) designs and prototypes for HTS-LTS hybrid solenoid systems capable of achieving 30 to 40T axial fields and warm bores with a diameter 2 cm, which are of particular interest for final cooling of a muon beam prior to acceleration and injection into a collider storage ring; (10) reduction in magnetization induced harmonics in HTS magnets; (11) very high field (>20 T) dipoles.
c: Starting Raw Materials and Basic Superconducting Materials
Description: Grant applications are sought for raw materials that result in improved performance and can be incorporated into existing wire technologies under subtopic (a) with minimal disruption. (1) Nb3Sn and other wire technologies rely upon various pure metal and metal-alloy raw materials containing niobium, tantalum, titanium, tin, and copper. Likewise, REBCO wire technologies depend on textured metal substrates, while Bi-2212 technologies depend on silver alloys. Grant applications are sought to develop improved starting metals and alloys, especially those which improve fabrication of the subsequent superconducting composite wire, reduce requirements for heat treatment and reaction, and reduce cost. (2) Bi-2212 and other wire technologies rely upon the fabrication of high-quality powders of the superconducting material. Grant applications are sought to develop powder fabrication facilities, improved quality control measures and better characterization tools.
d: Superconducting RF Materials and Cavities
Description: Materials and Fabrication Technologies for SRF Cavities Material properties, surface features, processing procedures, and cavity geometry can have significant impact on the performance of superconducting radio-frequency (SRF) accelerator cavities. Grant applications are sought to develop (1) new raw materials streams, such as those utilizing large-grain Nb ingot slices; (2) new or improved SRF cavity fabrication techniques, such as seamless and weld-free approaches; (3) SRF cavity fabrication techniques that reduce use of expensive metals such as niobium while achieving equivalent performance as bulk niobium cavities; (4) new or improved bulk processing technologies, such as mechanical or plasma polishing; (5) new or improved final surface preparation and protection technologies; and (6) new cavity ideas aimed at breakthroughs in understanding and performance of SRF cavities. SRF Cavities Grant applications are sought for the development of superconducting radiofrequency cavities for acceleration of proton and ion beams, with relativistic betas ranging from 0.1 to 1.0. Frequencies of current interest include 325, 650, and 1300 MHz. Continuous wave (CW) cavities are of the greater interest, although pulsed cavities could also be supported. Accelerating gradients above 15 MV-m, at Q0 in excess of 2 1010 (CW), and above 25 MV-m at Q0 in excess of 1 1010 (pulsed) are desirable. Topics of interest include: (1) cavity designs; (2) cavity fabrication alternatives to electron beam welding, including for example hydroforming and automatic TIG or laser welding of cavity end groups; (3) other cavity and cryomodule cost reduction methods; (4) cw power couplers at >50kW; (5) fast tuners for microphonics control; (6) higher order mode suppressors, including extraction of HOM power via the main power coupler and with photonic band gap cavities; (7) ecologically friendly or alternative cavity surface processing methods; (8) alternatives to high pressure rinsing that would allow in-situ cleaning of cavities to control field emission; (9) high resolution tomographic x-rays of electron beam welds in cavities; (10) specifically for muon acceleration, design of a cost-effective 325 MHz cavity capable of 20 MV-m with Qo > 109 that is compatible with expansion to a two or three cell cavity system; possible approaches could include: forming a cavity from a bonded sheet of thin Nb on Cu, robust sputter coating of Nb on a Cu cavity, and electroforming Cu on a thin Nb cavity shell
e: Cryogenic and Refrigeration Technology Systems
Description: Many new accelerators are based on the cold (superconducting) technology requiring large cryogenic systems. Grant applications are sought for research and development leading to the design and fabrication of improved cryomodules for superconducting cavity strings. Each cryomodule typically contains four to eight cavities in helium vessels and includes couplers, tuners, quadrupoles, 2K helium distribution system, and instrumentation to measure temperatures and pressures in the cryomodule during cool down and operation. Improvements in cryomodule components, cryomodule design and fabrication techniques which result in lower costs, improved control of cavity alignment, better understanding of cavity temperatures, and lower heat leaks are of particular interest. Other areas of interest include optimized methods for current leads for magnets operation at 2K where the helium pressures are sub atmospheric. Grant applications also are sought to increase the technical refrigeration efficiency from 20% Carnot to 30% Carnot for large systems (e.g. 10 kW at 2K), while maintaining higher efficiency over a capacity turndown of up to 50%. This might be done, for example, by reducing the number of compression stages or by improving the efficiency of stages. Grant applications also are sought to develop improved and highly efficient liquid helium distribution systems.
f: Ancillary Technologies for Superconductors
Description: Grant applications also are sought to develop innovative cable designs and wire processing technologies. Approaches of interest include methods to use stranded conductors with high aspect ratio to make efficient magnet cables, methods to adapt tape geometries to particle accelerator applications; and technologies to increase wire piece length and billet mass. Grant applications also are sought for innovative electrical insulating materials with reduced thickness to increase block current density in a coil while maintaining or increasing dielectric breakdown strength. Insulating systems must be compatible with the targeted superconductor and magnet processing cycle, (e.g. high temperature reactions in the 750-900 C range in the case of Nb3Sn or BSCCO), be capable of supporting high mechanical loads at both room and cryogenic temperatures, have a high coefficient of thermal conductivity, be resistant to radiation damage, and exhibit low creep and low out-gassing rates when irradiated. Grant applications also are sought for high-performance epoxies exhibiting the following characteristics: low viscosity regime for full impregnation of complex structures, reasonable pot-life to allow impregnation of large structures, high adhesion strength at cryogenic temperatures, excellent mechanical properties, including tensile, compression, and shear strength at cryogenic temperatures, and excellent radiation tolerance
g: Other
Description: In addition to the specific subtopics listed above, the Department invites grant applications in other areas that fall within the scope of the topic description above.