Optically Gated, Silicon Carbide (SiC) Semiconductors for Aircraft Electrical Actuator Motor Drives

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-10-C-2099
Agency Tracking Number: F083-110-1496
Amount: $749,934.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solitcitation Year: 2008
Solitcitation Topic Code: AF083-110
Solitcitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
SemiSouth Laboratories
201 Research Blvd., Starkville, MS, -
Duns: 622392111
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Andrew Ritenour
 Senior Device Engineer
 (662) 324-7607
 andrew.ritenour@semisouth.com
Business Contact
 Brenda Temple
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (662) 324-7607
Email: brenda.temple@semisouth.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
SemiSouth Laboratories, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor devices, OptiSwitch Technology Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of light activated semiconductor products, and the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) at Mississippi State University, a leading research center for hybrid electric drives and winner of the Challenge X competition, propose an optically-controlled three-phase motor drive to demonstrate the capabilities of optically-controlled 1200 V, 100 A SiC phase-leg modules rated for operation at temperatures up to 200 °C. An optical gate drive circuit based on intermediate optoelectronic conversion has been developed and excellent performance has been demonstrated at elevated temperature. The proposed switch uses standard components from SemiSouth and OptiSwitch as well as other commercially available parts. BENEFIT: A revolution in renewable energy, and a demand for greater energy efficiency in general, have created a technological need for smaller, more efficient, and lower cost power converters. It is apparent that silicon power semiconductor devices are fundamentally unable to simultaneously achieve high-voltage, high-current, and low-loss performance. This proposal, while focused on meeting specific Air Force requirements, involves expanding the use of high-voltage, very low-loss silicon carbide components in commercial, industrial, and military motor drives and power supplies.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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