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Robust, Lightweight Wiring for Space Applications

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Minnesota Wire & Cable Co.
1835 Energy Park Drive Saint Paul, MN 55108-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: Robust, Lightweight Wiring for Space Applications
Agency: DOD
Contract: FA9453-12-M-0063
Award Amount: $149,935.00


ABSTRACT: The military have been challenged to find ways of effectively shielding sensitive electronic equipment from electromagnetic interference (EMI) without adding a lot of weight to satellites (the more massive they are, the more fuel they need to achieve orbit). Copper wiring comprises one-third of the weight of a 15-ton satellite. Half of this wire weight is typically in the EMI shielding. However, that weight reductions must not come at the expense of EMI shielding effectiveness; wiring and connectors are particularly vulnerable to electromagnetic interference. As an alternative, carbon nanotubes (CNTs), when applied as thin-film composites, offer effective EMI shielding--they are lightweight, highly conductive, flexible and strong. This project will advance feasibility of using CNT-based wires for use space applications. This will project will develop the first CNT-based wire that meets the stringent electrical and mechanical requirements of ECSS-E-ST-50-12C (SpaceWire). Specifically our Phase I technical objectives are to: develop a requirements analysis for EMI shielding for Space Wires; develop prototype CNT shielded wires that is ECSS-E-ST-50-12C compliant; conduct validation testing of CNT shielded wires to make an initial assessment of robustness of cables; investigate termination strategies for the ECSS-E-ST-50-12C compliant CNT shielded wires. BENEFIT: The potential benefits of this innovation could include military development for future ground, air or space systems that have stringent weight requirements, including launch vehicles, UAVs, portable communications,small satellites,etc. Commercial Application: Any commercial development for electronic-heavy systems with stringent weight requirements, including jetliners, satellites, small computers, etc.

Principal Investigator:

Tom Kukowski
R&D Manager
(651) 659-6763

Business Contact:

Tom Ashenbrenner
Manager, Military Applications
(651) 659-6760
Small Business Information at Submission:

Minnesota Wire & Cable Co.
1835 Energy Park Drive Saint Paul, MN -

EIN/Tax ID: 410985588
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No