MgB2 Power and High Frequency Data Leads
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-064
ONR - Ms. Lore Anne Ponirakis - [email protected]
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-064 TITLE: MgB2 Power and High Frequency Data Leads

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes, Sensors, Electronics

RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): This topic is "ITAR Restricted". The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120 - 130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign Citizens may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the "Permanent Resident Card", or are designated as "Protected Individuals" as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.

OBJECTIVE: Develop and connectorize 10 and 100 line, minimum thermal conduction, flexible ribbon cable in coplanar and low crosstalk versions using MgB2 conductors. All types of signals (analog RF signal to 100 GHz, DC and AC power, and random digital data at high clock speed) will be delivered down this cabling.

DESCRIPTION: The recently announced IARPA C3 program will demonstrate that superconducting electronics (SCE) at 4K can reduce the total energy consumption of 10's of petaflop computing by more than 10X and volume by even more. Capitol ships increasingly need computational resources of this capacity for situational awareness, yet communications and ship functionality is being constrained by power requirements. However, cables that bring power into the 4K environment, and the data output cables, conduct a great deal of heat from the room down into the cold environment that must then be removed. If easily connected flexible cables with superconducting MgB2 conducting traces could span the temperature gradient between 30 and 4K this parasitic heat load could be sharply reduced, improving total system energy efficiency. The data cables will be useful for RF signal input in the SCE situational awareness receivers needed for information dominance, especially where element level digital beam forming is used. Connectors that have low contact resistance despite high vibration settings and repeated make and break cycles and high isolation between traces will be hardest goals to achieve.

PHASE I: The product of the Phase I base effort will be a technical report documenting experimental validation of the cable concept outlined in the initial proposal using a short length sample that is wire bonded for testing. Success requires the magnesium diboride (MgB2) conductors and any supporting substrate to exhibit lower thermal conduction than an equivalent length copper multi-trace cable spanning the same temperature gradient and carrying the same current. The Phase I option, if awarded should include selection and design of the connectorization. A Phase II plan should be defined during the final weeks of the Phase I base award and presented in its final report.

PHASE II: Phase II will include multiple cycles of design/fabrication/test/model activities to demonstrate rugged connectorization and to deliver cables with more than an order of magnitude lower thermal parasitics and lower resistive loss than equivalent delivered by Cu or CuBe when the cable spans 4 to 30K and carries same signals. Ease of connectorization and simplicity of connection and reconnection should also be worked to mature the product.

PHASE III: Transition for this cable product will consist of its incorporation into one of a kind, first prototype 4K (or lower) superconducting systems in DoD and the Intelligence Community (IC). This integration will be undertaken because of the simulated reduction of system parasitic heat loading (thus operating power) and reduction in the hand labor associated with lead installation and maintenance.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The need for petascale computing at affordable energy costs is definitely not limited to government. Other prime industries include telecoms, banking, and computer and movie animation.

1. Related cable demonstrated for lower temperatures:

2. Related cable demonstrated for higher temperatures in YBCO:

3. First demonstration of an MgB2 cable for DC applications using wire bonding:

KEYWORDS: Magnesium diboride; superconductors; thermal parasitics; ribbon cable; cryopackaging; make and break connectorization

DoD Notice:  
Between November 20 and December 19 you may talk directly with the Topic Authors (TPOC) to ask technical questions about the topics. Their contact information is listed above. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is
not allowed starting Dec 20, 2013, when DoD begins accepting proposals for this solicitation.
However, proposers may still submit written questions about solicitation topics through the DoD's SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System (SITIS), in which the questioner and respondent remain anonymous and all questions and answers are posted electronically for general viewing until the solicitation closes. All proposers are advised to monitor SITIS (14.1 Q&A) during the solicitation period for questions and answers, and other significant information, relevant to the SBIR 14.1 topic under which they are proposing.

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