Miniature Initiation System Technology (MIST)

Period of Performance: 07/10/2002 - 04/10/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Silicon Designs, Inc.
1445 NW Mall Street
Issaquah, WA 98027
Principal Investigator


In the past five years, SDI has developed low energy EFI detonators, built with MEMS processes, that have about half the firing voltage of previous designs. These detonators are in production and are being used in about six weapon systems. This reduction in firing voltage makes it possible to use much lower cost capacitors and switches that were not available for the higher voltages of original EFIs. Such components are available off-the-shelf, built in large quantities for commercial applications. In this project we propose to investigate the off-the-shelf semiconductors as the high voltage switch. If successful in Phase I, we will then design, build, test and qualify a small, low-cost, universal, single-point EFI module. This module would combine in one hermetically-sealed package the EFI detonator, capacitor and high voltage switch. We will also develop a second version that adds the transformer and diodes to the module, combining all high voltage components in a hermetically sealed package that is easy to use by fuze manufacturers. Such a unit could be used in many different weapon systems, solving at one time the recurring problems with high voltage arcing and fratricide between multiple warheads. Built in high volumes, such a module would reduce the cost to all DOD weapons systems that can take advantage of it. In addition, its availability as a standard subsystem would permit many more companies, even those without explosive knowledge and capabilities, to bid on fuze design and production contracts.