Customer Story: Phoenix Science and Technology (PS&T)

ESIS Sparker deploymentPhoenix Science and Technology (PS&T) researches, develops, engineers and applies unique, patented pulsed light and acoustic sources (sparkers) for application to advanced water treatment, depainting, biofouling control, sonobuoys and submarine countermeasures, within the DoD and commercial markets. PS&T and SBE engineers worked in close collaboration to develop high energy density capacitors for a high performance “sparker”.

Broadband acoustic sources are employed by the Navy for a wide range of mission critical applications such as tactical aids to measure the shallow water environment. Sparkers are non-explosive broadband impulsive acoustic sources that are safer than explosives and can provide multiple pulses on command. The A-sized Electric Sparker Impulsive Source (ESIS) sonobuoy developed by PS&T for the US Navy is deployed from the air and descends to depth where it is commanded by radio.

The sparker operates by creating a high voltage, high power electrical pulse discharges between electrodes in water. The pulsed discharge rapidly heats and vaporizes the liquid between the electrodes, producing a strong pressure shockwave. Since the sonobuoy has a fixed volume and the objective is to provide the highest sound output possible, high-energy-density, high-voltage capacitors with the capability to discharge rapidly are key to the success of the ESIS sonobuoy. The sparker buoy has a limited and short lifetime and the capacitors are operated near to their limit.

SBE has collaborated closely with PS&T to optimize the capacitor film, metallization and end spray processes to maximize energy density, discharge rate and lifetime for maximum sparker output. Its expertise in the areas of winding, film design, end spray and capacitor interconnections allowed for maximum capacitance in a limited space. The result has been a design with a high voltage switch and trigger controls located within the core of the capacitor.

phoenix-science-shadow-240-240The PS&T application is extremely challenging and is a perfect match for SBE’s expertise in next generation capacitors and packaging. We look forward to further close collaboration with the PS&T team on this, and other successful projects.” said Dr. Michael Brubaker, SBE CTO.

About Phoenix Science & Technology, Inc.
Phoenix Science & Technology, Inc., is based in Chelmsford, MA , with a 5,000 square foot laboratory and office facility. Dr. Ray Schaefer founded the company in 1994, starting with projects to develop sparker technology for mine sweeping and improve UV lamps for water remediation. After receiving Phase II SBIR and corporate contracts (e.g., Boeing Corporation), he opened a lab facility in 1998. Further development of lamp and sparker technology through Phase I, II and III SBIR’s, corporate contracts and a three year cooperative grant from ATP (NIST) led to PS&T’s move in January of 2002 to its current, larger facility to support continued technology development.

Comments are closed.