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Radioisotope Power Supply

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX14CP28P
Agency Tracking Number: 144255
Amount: $124,983.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S3.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2014
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-06-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2014-12-19
Small Business Information
7606 Miramar Road, Suite 7400
San Diego, CA 92126-4210
United States
DUNS: 192116440
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Frederick Leavitt
 Materials Scientist
 (858) 695-6660
Business Contact
 Jill Elsner
Title: Business Official
Phone: (858) 695-6660
Research Institution

Between 1998 and 2003, Hi-Z Technology developed and built a 40 mW radioisotope power supply (RPS) that used a 1 watt radioisotope heater unit (RHU) as the energy source. This RPS represented a continuation of 30 years of development that began in the Thermoelectrics Division of General Atomics in the 1960's. This system is the most efficient of its size to this day, and has been validated by extensive life testing. We now propose to devise improvements to the design giving it increased resistance to mechanical shock. In the Phase I we will conduct simulations to inform a trade study examining multiple options of up to 10,000 G of shock tolerance and up to 40 mW of output power. We will also build TEM modules for destructive testing to measure mechanical properties. In Phase II, we will fabricate prototypes that use electric heaters and weights to simulate an RHU. These will be subjected to shock testing at NASA Ames. After iterations of design, build and test, we will present a new RPS design that offers valuable new mission capabilities to the space program.

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

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