You are here

Adaptive Thermal Control of Munition Components and Reserve Power using Exothermic-Based Composite Structures

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace 

OBJECTIVE: Develop exothermic-based composite structures that possess sufficient mechanical properties to withstand setback launch forces and spin rate inertias of gun-fired munitions and to provide adaptive heating on-demand for thermal management of munitions components such as power sources at low temperatures. The systems objective is to significantly extend the run-time and high-pulsed power of reserve power systems for gun-fired munitions and extend the stand-off range, thus improving safety for soldiers. 

DESCRIPTION: Munitions can be hand emplaced or gun-launched. Munitions are stored in different environments for several years, including at very low temperatures. In all situations, munition components need to be fully operational at temperatures below -30 deg. C and sometimes as low as -55 deg. C. Proper operation of munition components and in particular munition reserve power system are absolutely critical to the mission at such low temperatures. As an example, when munitions are launched at very low temperatures or are emplaced and must be operational at such low temperatures, methods to heat their components quickly to allow their activation and to make them fully operational becomes critical. For such applications, exothermic materials are ideal candidates as heating source due to their high heat generating capacity and very fast response even at temperatures as low as -55 deg. C. It is desirable that such onboard heating devices require minimal and preferably no additional munitions volume. This topic seeks proposals for the development of exothermic-based composite structures that minimize or eliminate the need for additional volume in munitions and provide the means of heating various components of munitions such as its power source at low temperatures for their proper and optimal performance. For example, by assembling the reserve power system of hand emplaced munitions systems in such composite structures, it becomes possible to activate the munitions at very low temperatures and provide the required high-power pulses during individual missions. Similar activation at low temperatures and high-power pulses can be provided to gun-fired munitions, rockets and missiles at very low temperatures. The development of exothermic-based composite structures must be such that it supports miniaturization of munitions electronics and munitions power sources and must provide the capability to provide managed and controlled heat rates, possibly turning into insulation materials following the delivery of heat and must be capable of being designed to conform to the available geometries as load-bearing structures. The proposed exothermic-based composite structures must be capable of withstanding setback accelerations of over 75,000 Gs and high spin rates of up to 200 Hz and satisfy the military shelf life requirement of 20 years. 

PHASE I: Develop exothermic materials and technologies that possess sufficient mechanical properties to withstand setback launch forces and spin rate inertias of gun-fired munitions and to provide adaptive heating on-demand for thermal management of munitions components such as power sources at low temperatures. The Phase I efforts must demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed technologies to meet the requirements of hand emplaced and gun-fired munitions. The contractor will perform and document design analyses to demonstrate compliance with requirements. The results of Phase I will include an engineering analysis of alternatives noting the design capabilities and limitations and recommendations for the Phase II effort, as well as physical prototypes built in the laboratory and subjected to laboratory functional testing. 

PHASE II: Based on success in Phase I, refine the design(s) selected to meet the functional and environmental requirements. Develop designs and build prototypes and perform instrumented tests to demonstrate the performance for adaptive heating of munitions components at very low temperatures. The Phase II will culminate with a demonstration in a relevant environment. Deliverables include prototypes, an engineering report on the selected designs and related technical data in contractor format. 

PHASE III: The end vision of this SBIR effort is the insertion of the developed technology into hand emplaced munitions power system and for heating of power system and other temperature sensitive components of emerging longer-range gun-fired munitions for operation at low temperatures. On the commercial side, safe and low reserve batteries with a very long 10-20 years of shelf life would be ideal for emergency powering of communications and other similar electrical and/or electronic devices and systems. 

REFERENCES: 

1: Encyclopedia of Electrochemical Power Sources, C.K. Dyer et al, Elsevier Science (2010)

2:  Linden, D. (Ed.), Handbook of Batteries 2nd Ed., McGraw-Hill Inc., New York (1995)

3:  J. Dai, R. LaFollette, D. Reisner, "Thin film Cu5V2O10 Electrode for Thermal Batteries", 218th Electrochemical Society Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, Oct.10-15, 2010, Meet. Abstr. - Electrochem. Soc. 1002 346 (2010)

4:  R.M. LaFollette, J.Dai, D. Reisner, and D. Briscoe, "Thermal Battery with Thin film LiV3O8 Cathodes", 218th Electrochemical Society Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, Oct.10-15, 2010, Meet. Abstr. - Electrochem. Soc. 1002 372 (2010)

5:  N.V. Moss, D.H. Bhakta, "Gun Hardened Thermal Battery", 40th Power Sources Conf., Cherry Hill, NJ, June 10- 13, 2002, 21.4

6:  R.A. Guidotti, F.W. Reinhardt, "A Miniature Shock-Activated Thermal Battery for Munitions Applications", 38th Power Sources Conf., Cherry Hill, NJ, June 8-11, 1998, 10.5

KEYWORDS: Exothermic, Exothermic Materials, Composite Structures, Munitions Power System, Reserve Batteries, Battery Performance At Low Temperature 

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government