Light Controlled Power Semiconductors for Flight Control Actuation

Period of Performance: 04/23/1999 - 05/23/2001


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Advanced Power Technologies, Inc.
2043 DE MAYO RD.
Del Mar, CA 92014
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


We propose a high speed bipolar power semiconductor whose on/off operation is directly controlled by fiber coupled laser pulses for driving flight control motors. The resulting technology drastically simplifies the overall system by eliminating all digital circuitry away from the harsh motor environment to the VMS side of the fiber system which is at a more benign location. The direct light activation also results in a) an increase in the switching power and speed of the device over the IGBT, which will reduce the size and weight of the motor control system and b) in a virtually noise immune motor control system. Control light pulses are delivered through fibers traveling in alternate paths through the structure to control the on-off operation of the power semiconductor in a logic or function directly. Thus, the presence of a signal from any or all of the fibers will cause the same switching action; thereby providing battle hardened configurations without additional signal processing.