Restricted Research - Award List, Note/Discussion Page

Fiscal Year: 2018

1331  The University of Texas at Arlington  (74836)

Principal Investigator: Dr David Wetz Jr

Total Amount of Contract, Award, or Gift (Annual before 2011): $ 560,565

Exceeds $250,000 (Is it flagged?): Yes

Start and End Dates: 6/1/17 - 5/31/20

Restricted Research: YES

Academic Discipline: Department of Electrical Engineering

Department, Center, School, or Institute: College of Engineering

Title of Contract, Award, or Gift: Electrochemical Prime Power Supply for a Repetitively Operated High Power Marx Generator

Name of Granting or Contracting Agency/Entity: Office of Naval Research (ONR)

Program Title: N/A
CFDA Linked: Basic and Applied Scientific Research


The US Navy has a number of ongoing R&D efforts aimed at fielding electrically driven directed energy (DE) weapon systems in their future fleet [1]. Among the systems being developed are electromagnetic railguns (EMRG) [2-5], solid state lasers (SSLs) [6-8], and high power microwave (HPM) generators [8-12]. Though each of these DE systems is vastly different from one another, one commonality they share is that each presents a unique electrical load profile to the platform on which it will be deployed. Due to their high power and energy requirements and the transient nature in which they will be used, electrochemical energy storage has emerged as a viable power supply option that will provide reliability while also reducing many of the detrimental impacts the load may have on the platform’s overall power quality [13]. Though it would be ideal to have one prime power supply that is capable of supplying all of these different loads, it is unfeasible due to their vastly different operational voltages, power and energy requirements, repetition rate, and platform size limitations. These unique requirements make it necessary to carefully consider each load independently so that an optimum prime power solution can be achieved. There are many energy storage technologies available that should be considered in each application. Among them are thermal batteries, lithium-ion batteries, lead acid batteries, nickel metal hydride batteries, supercapacitors, and lithium-ion capacitors, among others. Like the loads they will power, each of the energy storage chemistries listed has unique voltage, power, energy, and size limitations that must be considered. Further, it has been proposed in some cases that the energy storage augment the existing platform power to supply the load, rather than be used alone, bringing a whole new set of challenges that must be considered when choosing the right chemistry and properly sizing the prime power [14-16]. Since 2011, the University of Texas at Arlington’s (UTA’s) Pulsed Power and Energy Laboratory (PPEL) has been assisting ONR Codes 33 and 35, respectively, in the characterization of energy storage systems for deployment in future shipboard platforms [17 - 22]. Through ONR support, the PPEL has installed laboratory capabilities that are state of the art for evaluating and characterizing energy storage devices under rates and profiles of interest to the DoD. To date, the PPEL has mostly supported the EMRG and SSL programs which require the energy storage to supply high power while also storing quite substantial amounts of energy. HPM generators will operate at a higher repetition rate and require high power but not nearly as much energy stored which makes sizing the prime power for this application a little bit more interesting. It is proposed here that the PPEL assist ONR Code 35 in the research, sizing, and validation of a battery prime power system for a compact, repetitive, high voltage Marx generator that will be used to drive an HPM load. Topologies that utilize energy storage alone will be considered as well as ones that augment the existing on board generation. An experimentally validated sizing tool will be produced that ONR can use to optimize the design of a battery prime power supply for high power/lower energy Marx generator loads. Cells, modules, and full battery topologies will be studied against load profiles representative of the end applications. The end result will be multiple, experimentally validated prime power supply designs.

Discussion: No discussion notes


Close Window