Enhanced Beta-Batteries: A Long Life Power Source for Sensors Monitoring WMD

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Contract: HDTRA1-12-C-0091
Agency Tracking Number: T2-0208
Amount: $999,989.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: DTRA102-004
Solicitation Number: 2010.2
Small Business Information
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA, -
DUNS: 073804411
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Michael Squillante
 Vice President
 (617) 668-6800
 MSquillante@RMDInc.com
Business Contact
 Joanne Gladstone
Title: Vice President
Phone: (617) 668-6800
Email: JGladstone@RMDInc.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
While many applications may have access to harvestable energy in the form of solar radiation (or other ambient light), wind, environmental vibration, or wave motion, not all do. In this proposal, RMD targets the most challenging applications, sensors that must operate for many months or years and which have undependable or no access to environmental energy. These sensors need a self contained, compact energy source that contains, at the outset, all the energy required for the length of the mission. We propose to provide this energy through the development of a novel beta battery, to convert the energy of long-lived beta emitters such as strontium 90 (29 years) into usable electrical power. Beta batteries have been known for fifty years, but have suffered from two shortcomings. First, radiation damage to the semiconductor junction used for the conversion limits either the lifetime of the device or the maximum allowable particle energy of the incident radiation. Second, absorption in the radioactive source limits the efficiency of the device. RMD proposes an innovative energy conversion method that resolves both of these issues and allows the development of higher power, higher efficiency beta batteries than were possible in the past.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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