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Glass to Metal Fiber Assemblies

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0021772
Agency Tracking Number: 0000259783
Amount: $199,979.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 02b
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-06-28
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-03-27
Small Business Information
2900 S MAIN ST
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84115-3516
United States
DUNS: 013017947
HUBZone Owned: Yes
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Larry Sacwick
 (801) 975-7399
Business Contact
 Larry Sadwick
Phone: (801) 975-7399
Research Institution

There is a need for glass to metal fritting including for neutron generator applications, however, there is a shortfall in commercial capability for specialized detector fabrication for some nonproliferation needs, such as alpha detection in associated particle neutron generators. For more than a decade, the fabrication process, from creating the assembly to installation had an unacceptable chance of failure. The DOE including Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) has a need for glass-metal fritted fiber-optic faceplate assemblies for use with associated particle imaging (API) D-T neutron generators. Solving the glass-metal seal challenge in the above context is part of a larger effort to improve the state-of-the-art in associated particle imaging (API) D-T neutron generators. There is a strong preference to install fiber-optic faceplate assemblies over simpler monolithic glass viewports. Based on InnoSys’ current business of making high performance vacuum electronic devices (VEDs), circuits, and electronics including glass-metal fritted fabrication, assembly and manufacturing, we propose to develop, implement and commercialize a family of highly reliable, robust fiber optic glass to metal seals that can be reproducibly manufactured as vacuum barrier fiber optic coupling to at- atmosphere optical detector instrumentation. To address this problem andopportunity,the approach to be used in this DOE SBIR relies on the use of its core technology, Solid State Vacuum Device (SSVDTM) technology suite which includes glass to metal seals including frit seals of glass to metal and glass to glass, etc. that has been developed and matured into products and, as a result, InnoSys has all of the requisite, theoretical knowledge, simulation experience for glass to metal fabrication and sealing and related technical knowledge and capabilities to develop methodologies and approaches supported by fundamental physics and practical engineering to address this SBIR topic on glass to metal fritted fiber optic assemblies for applications specifically for alpha particle detection in neutron generators. Design, research, develop, simulate, characterize and test reliable, robust fiber optic glass to metal seals that can be reproducibly manufactured as vacuum barrier fiber optic coupling to at-atmosphere optical detector instrumentation concepts and implementations and provide a report summarizing the results obtained to demonstrate the proof of feasibility of the technique and approach and Phase II plan and roadmap to successful commercialization. In addition to supporting the objective of the Office of Proliferation Detection (PD) within Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development (DNN R&D) to reduce the reliance on high-activity commercial and industrial radioactive sources, there are a number of technical, economic, social, and other benefits to the public including fundamental advances in science, higher efficiency/performance and greater national security and also industrial, medical, defense and scientific, industrial heating, radiotherapy, radar, cargo scanning, process heating, imaging systems and integrated gamma ray analysis tools, neutron radiography and non-destructive inspection, plasma and heating applications, particle accelerators, nuclear physics and high energy physics. The general public will especially benefit from increased and enhanced national security capabilities and protection. Merits of the proposed development can also be in the capability improvement in any of these important areas of medicine, security, advanced research and material analysis and possible cost savings to users and to the public.

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

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