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Air Force STTR Phase I: Compact Pulsed Power Source for High Repetition Rate Applications

High power nanosecond pulses provide unique capabilities for several applications relevant to defense, energy, materials science, medical applications and basic research. For the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) new compact and portable nanosecond pulsed electric systems could provide novel solutions for directed energy weapons, efficient combustion, and aerodynamic drag reduction. To be operationally relevant, the next generation pulser is required to generate high voltage (>50 kV) pulses at high repetition rates (>100 kHz), which presents a significant challenge for pulse power supply design. Eagle Harbor Technologies, Inc., in collaboration with the University of Colorado Boulder, proposes a unique pulser configuration that leverages existing EHT IGBT power module technology. The EHT Integrated Power Module (IPM) has demonstrated nanosecond pulse generation at megahertz repetition frequencies at high voltage (>20 kV) and high peak power levels (>1MW) for bursts up to several tens of milliseconds. The proposed Phase I work plan is to incorporate CU Boulders novel Thermal Ground Plane (TGP) technology to allow the pulser to operate continuously at high frequency.

BENEFIT: The proposed work seeks to develop a novel IGBT high peak power nanosecond pulser system suitable for DOD applications and platforms. The benefits of the new system are many and include applications for improving combustion efficiency in both military and commercial vehicles and aircraft. Additionally, similar high voltage pulsers are utilized in excimer laser systems for both industrial and medical applications where the new capabilities of increasing pulse frequency to over 1 MHz may allow for new and unique solutions for these laser systems.