Durable Hydrophobic Nanocomposite Insulating Coating for High Voltage VLF/LF Antenna Components

Period of Performance: 09/28/2016 - 03/30/2018


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Georgia Institute of Technology
225 North Ave NW
Atlanta, GA 30332
Institution POC


The Fixed Submarine Broadcasting System (FSBS) is a low frequency (LF) and very low frequency (VLF) communication system that provides independent and survivable connectivity to the United States Navy nuclear submarine force. The system includes six outdoor transmission antennas that operate at high power and generate extremely high electric fields in a wide variety of environmental conditions. These harsh conditions can lead to the degradation and failure of insulating materials used in the antenna components. Luna Innovations has partnered with The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) to develop a durable hydrophobic insulating nanocomposite sol-gel coating that is easy to apply and that is designed to reduce degradation of FSBS outdoor transmission components. In the Phase I, Luna demonstrated the superior hydrophobicity of the nanocomposite coating as compared to the bare insulating silicone rubber surface and a wide range of environmental durability. The coating proved to be extremely effective at providing a highly hydrophobic surface while immersed in high voltage (HV) VLF electric fields. During the Phase II, Luna will demonstrate the application and high voltage performance of the developed nanocomposite insulating coating on full-scale feedthrough bushing insulating components advancing the TRL to a level of 7.