Power Electronics & Electromagnetism, Adaptive & Machinery Controls and Advanced Machinery Systems

Work in these areas supports the Navy’s interest in advanced naval power and energy systems science and technology, and autonomous technology:

Autonomous controls (6.1 basic research): Development of rapid, autonomous control systems for unmanned/manned vehicles.

Power electronics and electromagnetism (6.1 basic research): Development and improved reliability/availability of next-generation, wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductors (Gallium Nitride (GaN)); development of advanced machinery insulation systems (motors, generators, cables, laminated bus, drives); development of prediction techniques (prognostics) for estimating useful remaining life of insulation systems; development of improved, light-weight magnetic materials (inductors and high frequency transformers).

Machinery controls (6.2 applied research): Development and application of control systems supporting future ship Integrated power and energy systems (IPES).

Advanced Power Systems (6.2 applied research):

  • Development and application of improved size, weight and power (SWaP), silicon carbide (SiC), WBG, power electronic building block (PEBB), least replaceable unit (LRU) power converters.
  • Risk reduction of technologies supporting medium voltage direct current (MVDC) IPES.
  • Develop innovative Power Electronic Power Distribution System (PEPDS) technology and concepts that surpass MVDC and MVAC.

Research Concentration Areas

  • Navy and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) require power systems that meet agility, efficiency, scalability, controllability and security requirements
  • Reliability and availability of pulsed and continuous duty, high power and energy, Navy and USMC weapon systems

Research Challenges and Opportunities

Power electronics devices and electromagnetism:

  • Advance electromagnetics technologies to enhance capabilities, efficiency, size, weight, power density, reliability and cost
  • Develop computational methods that predict and link material properties at the macroscale with those at the mesoscale and nanoscale
  • Develop joining processes and methods for large area dissimilar materials
  • Develop methods, tools and materials to control electric field concentration in highly integrated, compact and power dense PEBBs
  • Develop wide-band-gap materials and devices for very high frequency, voltage and power applications
  • Explore and develop computational and theoretical methods for predicting the aging of and useful remaining life of dielectric materials in harsh environments
  • Innovative energy extraction
  • Investigate failure modes of WBG semiconductors to enable reliable devices
  • More efficient, power-dense and cost-effective electric machinery is required to meet Navy’s expanding demands in mission flexibility, active protection, situation awareness, advanced weaponry and energy efficiency
  • Revive and enhance education to prepare the next generation of electrical engineers
  • Synthesis of new materials with large thermal conduction and high electric breakdown and low dielectric losses through 200 C or higher

Adaptive controls: Provide a leap ahead capability for DoD platforms that utilize distributed machinery systems (resources to loads) by implementing advanced resilient control architectures that operate from a ‘systems of systems’ perspective, minimizing “human in the loop” reliance

Machinery controls:

  • Develop advanced power electronic control across many converters or a network of converters such as a power electronic power distribution system (PEPDS), while minimizing round trip latency and eliminating the need for dedicated source and load converters
  • Develop methods, processes and tools for control apps that can be downloaded into and uploaded from converters to enable a 1 to 1 relationship between the model and converter control and enabling “the model is the specification”
  • Develop methods, processes and tools to assure secure and reliable programing and operation at all control levels from switch to system in a shipboard power system
  • Innovative controls to facilitate seamless control of transients and transfer of power and energy from one large load to another
  • New control concepts needed to coordinate all the system elements to provide the high-power to pulse loads while maintaining power quality to all loads and system stability
  • Single converter active filters exist today – point filtering; Research is needed for distributed active filtering to include concepts and ideas for multiple converter active filtering, local and global noise suppression, control algorithms for system level filtering, and control algorithms to coordinate and focus system converters to filter localized disturbance

Advanced Power Systems:

  • Develop highly integrated PEBB based converters (i.e., iPEBB, or “Power Bots”) to include the capability for programing knowledge via downloadable apps (autonomous with learning)
  • Develop power distribution architectures with greater performance, lower costs, increased reliability and security, and reduced training and maintenance
  • Incorporate intelligence, data storage and health monitoring at all levels in the PEBB based converter down to the power switch
  • MVDC risk reduction and applied SiC technology to fulfill the power and energy needs of the Navy’s next-generation weapons and platforms by improving: Reliability of power electronic devices; Power density of power systems; and Risk reduction for future application of MVDC systems

For More Information

Watch ONR's Power & Energy Technology video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1101UBFa0s

UPDATED: November 2020

Program Contact Information

Name: Mr. Lynn J. Petersen

Title: Program Officer

Department: Code 331

Email for Questions: lynn.j.petersen@navy.mil


How to Submit

For detailed application and submission information for this research topic, please see our Funding Opportunities page and refer to broad agency announcement (BAA) No. N00014-21-S-B001.

  • Contracts: All white papers and full proposals for contracts must be submitted through FedConnect; instructions are included in the BAA.
  • Grants: All white papers for grants must be submitted through FedConnect, and full proposals for grants must be submitted through grants.gov; instructions are included in the BAA.

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