Resonant-Mode Discharge Ignition system

Period of Performance: 01/05/2016 - 07/03/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nanosonic, Inc.
158 Wheatland Drive Array
Pembroke, VA 24136
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


There currently is a shortcoming for heavy fuel engines that have a rated power below 100 BHP that are compatible with both JP-8 and DF-2, have high power to weight and power to volume density, provide good fuel consumption characteristics, and operate over extreme climatic ranges ranging from below -25 F to 125 F ambient. One developing technology that could potentially fit this niche market are spark ignited heavy fuel, rotary diesel engines that can provide from 10 BHP to 50 BHP per rotor, have best brake fuel consumption less than 0.5 lbm/bhp-hr, and have an engine power density of 1 hp/lbm for small ground vehicles. A major challenge with such engines is the combustion system development, of which the ignition system is a critical element. This is due to the ignition source's direct contact with injected fuel and the complex fuel and air flow path characteristics. There are significant performance and reliability gains with a high energy ignition event at low engine speeds and startup, compared to low ignition energy at high speed conditions. The performance requirements for this ignition system SBIR are as follows: Variable output: 50 - 200 mJ / spark Response Time: 2000 Hz Ambient Temperature Range: -25 F to 125 F Size: 1.5 Liters Weight: 4.5 lbs Power Consumption: 120W Output (plug) channels: 5 Fully controllable: Energy output, timing