Volume Charge Distribution Measurement in Thin Dielectrics

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-12-M-0088
Agency Tracking Number: F11B-T20-0015
Amount: $99,896.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: AF11-BT20
Solicitation Number: 2011.B
Small Business Information
Box Elder Innovations, LLC
4465 W 5900 N, PO Box 22, Bear River City, UT, -
DUNS: 969133581
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Lee Pearson
 President
 (435) 279-8338
 BEInnov@frontier.com
Business Contact
 Lee Pearson
Title: President
Phone: (435) 279-8338
Email: BEInnov@frontier.com
Research Institution
 Utah State University
 JR Dennison
 Physics Department
4415 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT, 84322-4322
 (435) 797-2936
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
ABSTRACT: Over half of spacecraft system anomalies attributed to interactions with the natural space environmentincluding electron upsets, damage to components, power system debilities, and complete satellite failuresare attributed to spacecraft charging. While measurements of electron emission, surface potential and electrostatic breakdown provide important information, the"holy grail"of materials characterization in spacecraft charging is a nondestructive method which directly measures the magnitude, spatial distribution, and temporal evolution of internal charge appropriate to practical spacecraft charging problems. Pulsed electro-acoustic (PEA) measurements are potentially such a method. Active spacecraft charging groups with PEA capabilities exist only outside the US. Spacecraft environment fluxes are typically dominated by low energy particles with penetration depths into dielectric materials<2m, which is less than the resolution of current PEA methods. Box Elder Innovations"Phase I effort will determine feasibility of increasing spatial charge distribution resolution to ~1m, while maintaining or improving current temporal resolution and charge sensitivity. Phase II will develop an instrument to measure time evolution and charge density distributions on<1m length scales. In total, the project should result in a quantum leap in charge density distribution characterization to support the prediction, avoidance and mitigation of destructive effects of charging on spacecraft. BENEFIT: Potential applications include 1) spacecraft charging 2) high voltage transmission line insulation characterization and design, 3) electrostatic breakdown in high voltage 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 of this program.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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