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Energy Scavenging Micro Air Weapon

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
TPL, Inc.
3921 Academy Parkway North, NE Albuquerque, NM 87109-4416
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Energy Scavenging Micro Air Weapon
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8651-09-M-0104
Award Amount: $99,990.00


This project demonstrates an efficient power scavenging design for a Perching Micro Air Weapon, enabling the weapon to perch on high voltage transmission lines, such as along the electric transmission grid prior to final voltage step-down. The innovation of the perching air weapon design allows the system to recharge from a single, high-voltage transmission line. When perching on a high voltage line, the system senses the voltage gradient with the surrounding environment, selects the appropriate impedance, and monitors the recharging of the on-board energy storage. Energy scavenging from a single high voltage line is made possible by the innovation of a Corona Discharge Terminal, which lets current flow through use of the corona, or partial discharge effect. For the corona effect to work, the system will deploy a partial discharge terminal a distance of a few inches away from the transmission line so as to give the terminals electron exit points access to air existing in an area of less electric field strength. The current will be in the milliamp range, using corona/partial discharge from the transmission line. The generation system will be designed for high-voltage transmission lines from 5KV to 345KV. BENEFIT: This research and development has the commercial benefit of providing a ready source of power for remote, wireless sensors for applications in every facet of a public power grid. These sensors can monitor gas and skin temperature, gas pressure in high voltage circuit breakers, grid voltage levels, and equipment failure. The ability to remotely monitor these many properties guarantees the health of the power system, forestalling very expensive equipment failures and power outages.

Principal Investigator:

Tim Trainor
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Trista Mosman
Small Business Information at Submission:

3921 Academy Parkway North, NE Albuquerque, NM 87109

EIN/Tax ID: 850291542
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No