Commercial Software for Low Pressure Industrial Applications Leveraging DOE Technology

Period of Performance: 02/17/2015 - 11/16/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Spectral Sciences, Inc.
4 Fourth Avenue Array
Burlington, MA 01803
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Statement of the Problem or Situation That is Being Addressed: Many manufacturing processes, such as physical and vapor deposition, freeze-drying, and plasma etching, involve rarefied gas flows. Currently, simulation technologies require large computational clusters and/or were designed for use by experts. Furthermore, many industrial flows span a wide range of pressures which make application of continuum or rarefied methods to the entire flow field infeasible. These barriers have hindered the effective use of simulation to advance technology involving rarefied flows in manufacturing. Statement of how this Problem or Situation is Being Addressed: SSI proposes to leverage the DOE-funded Stochastic Parallel Rarefied-gas Time-accurate Analyzer (SPARTA) software within a web-enabled cloud computing graphical user interface (GUI). The approach will dramatically decrease the associated costs for process design and optimization by eliminating the costly hardware and set-up time for high performance computing. Additional hardening and shrink wrapping of the code will be done by insertion of automatic, adaptive routines, which will also help eliminate the need for an expert user. The new routines will maintain a high level of physical fidelity and numerical accuracy, so that the software can be effectively used by general users. What is to be done in the Phase I: In Phase I, we will develop a proof-of-principle prototype that allows execution of the SPARTA library through an easy to use, web interface. To establish feasibility, we will apply the software to a number of industry relevant flows. Through discussions with our commercial partners, we will develop a detailed Phase II plan that will include an extensive beta test of the commercial product. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The proposed software will have a wide application to simulate many internal and external flow processes that are of great interest to manufacturing firms, pharmaceutical companies, and aerospace corporations. These simulation capabilities will provide a direct benefit to both the manufacturers and the US community of consumers through a reduction in cost and advancement in product designs in many industries, including microelectronic manufacturing. Advances in certain manufacturing processes could open a wide array of new innovations and capital savings that could result from these simulation capabilities. Key Words: vacuum, vapor deposition, DSMC, plasma etching, rarefied gas flow, multi-scale flows Summary for Members of Congress: SSI will create software to allow many small and medium sized manufacturing and engineering firms to simulate important processes and perform automated, engineering design. These tools will allow optimization of important processes to reduce product cost and enable engineering advancements and new products, benefitting the industry and general public.