Development of Compact, Lightweight Power Transmission Devices for Directed Energy Applications

Period of Performance: 05/05/2009 - 02/05/2010


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Global Research & Development, Inc.
539 Industrial Mile Rd Array
Columbus, OH 43228
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

The Ohio State University
1330 Kinnear Road
Columbus, OH 43212
Institution POC


This proposal covers investigating and optimizing superconductor cable configuration designs and various cooling methods for lightweight airborne power cables. During this program we will be modeling several types of superconducting cable configurations and design parameters for optimizing the system weight and volume as a function of cable length. We will study the trade-offs among the influencing parameters that will lead to an optimum design for a high-power electric transmission link between a power source and load, this load being some form of directed energy weapon. The design will account for operating current from 1 kA to 30 kA DC, pulsed AC and quasi-steady state in the range of 0 to 300 Volts as dictated by airborne conditions. Electrical insulation will be examined for the cable link and terminations at either end and for operating temperatures covering superconductors up to HTS requirements (80 K). Reliability will be a key design criterion for all subsystems. A working prototype based on the design optimization is projected for Phase II. BENEFIT: The potential commercial consequence coming from this SBIR Phase I and II is technology that will be applicable for commercial DC transmission cables for power utility applications. There is also the potential for short length AC and DC transmission cables for various industrial applications such as cables for induction furnaces and arc furnaces. There is also the potential for technology on current leads applicable to superconducting fault current limiters.)