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Extremely Lightweight and Ultra-low Noise Isolated DC-DC Converters

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8649-21-P-0215
Agency Tracking Number: FX20D-TCSO1-0410
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AFX20D-TCSO1
Solicitation Number: X20.D
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-11-25
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-07-25
Small Business Information
3461 S. Wakefield St
Arlington, VA 22206-1719
United States
DUNS: 116931863
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Lumb
 (703) 225-9847
 mlumb@polarissemiconductor.com
Business Contact
 Matthew Lumb
Phone: (703) 225-9847
Email: mlumb@polarissemiconductor.com
Research Institution
 The Ohio State University
 Tyler Grassman
 
1960 Kenny Road
Columbus, OH 43210-1016
United States

 (858) 243-3428
 Nonprofit College or University
Abstract

Polaris Semiconductor has developed a unique DC-DC voltage conversion technology which enables high performance up and down conversion without the use of switching. This eliminates conducted and radiated electromagnetic interference (EMI) effects, output voltage ripple, high component count, and large size and weight drawbacks which exist in switching-based approaches, providing disruptive capabilities in demanding DoD applications. This project will support targeted R&D which expands on our existing technology to build a new, high-performance, isolated DC-DC converter for high-voltage, high-power applications in eVTOL aircraft. Our technology employs a novel optoelectronic component which converts voltage using photons, as part of a linear voltage regulator architecture. This allows our device to break the fundamental efficiency limits for a linear voltage regulator, achieving functionality presently only available using switching approaches. Our Phase I project will use design and experimental studies to assess the feasibility of our approach for high power and high voltage DC-DC conversion in demanding defense environments. This expands our technology beyond our present non-defense prototypes which are centered on low power, low input/output voltage, non-isolated devices. We will use a combination of epitaxial growth, photomask design, optoelectronic device fabrication and electrical characterization to overcome key technical challenges and minimize risk in critical components of our system, and generate designs for each component of our DC-DC converter ready for breadboard demonstration in Phase II. Our research will combine the design, modeling, and circuit-level expertise of Polaris Semiconductor with the world-class semiconductor research facilities of The Ohio State University, building on a successful existing collaboration to develop Polaris Semiconductor technology. Our team will also perform extensive customer discover in Phase I, connecting with key decision makers in the Air Force to learn more about their specific needs, requirements, and end-use applications, as well as interviewing key industry players to identify current trends, potential stakeholders and test our value proposition hypotheses. If we are successful, our technology will enable a 60% reduction in weight and 35% reduction in footprint over existing solutions for DC-DC conversion.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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