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Volume Charge Distribution Measurement in Thin Dielectrics

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
4465 W 5900 N BEAR RIVER CITY, UT 84301-0000
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Volume Charge Distribution Measurement in Thin Dielectrics
Agency: DOD
Contract: FA9453-13-C-0067
Award Amount: $749,507.00


ABSTRACT: Over half of spacecraft system anomalies attributed to interactions with the natural space environment including - electron upsets, damage to components, power system debilities, and complete satellite failures - are attributed to spacecraft charging. While measurements of electron emission, surface potential, and electrostatic breakdown provide important information, the great need for materials characterization in spacecraft charging is a nondestructive methods which directly measures the magnitude, spatial distribution, and temporal evolution of internal charge appropriate to practical spacecraft charging problems. Pulsed electro-acoustic (PEA) and pressure wave propagation (PWP) are such methods. Only outside of the US are there active spacecraft charging groups where these capabilities exist. Spacecraft environment fluxes are typically dominated by low energy particles with penetration depths into dielectric materials<2 microns, which is less than the resolution of current PEA/PWP methods. Box Elder Innovations Phase II effort will develop both PEA and PWP mesurement systems with a resolution of ~1 micron while maintaining or improving current temporal resolution. Measurement systems will be interfaced to an environmental chamber for in-situ charging studies in a simulated space environment. The project with bring this capability to the US including significant improvement in spatial resolution of embedded charge distribution measurements. BENEFIT: Potential applications include 1) spacecraft charging, 2) high voltage DC power transmission line insulation characterization and design, 3) electrostatic breakdown in high voltage electronic devices, and 4) high field breakdown in semiconductor materials/devices and solar arrays. Potential markets exist for each of these applications for measurement systems developed in Phase II.

Principal Investigator:

Lee H. Pearson
(435) 279-8338

Business Contact:

Lee H. Pearson
(435) 279-8338
Small Business Information at Submission:

Box Elder Innovations, LLC
4465 W 5900 N PO Box 22 Bear River City, UT -

EIN/Tax ID: 453005519
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Utah State University
Physics Department
4415 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-4415
Contact: Jr Dennison
Contact Phone: (435) 797-2936