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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

  • James V DiLorenzo
  • (617) 834-1165
Award Date:12/13/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 223,423
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 248,423
  • FY 2020=$248,423
Start Date:12/15/2019
End Date:09/30/2020
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:SBIR Phase I: Novel Electronic Methods to Prevent Aquatic Biofouling
Federal Award ID Number:1940392
DUNS ID:080935546
Program:SBIR Phase I
Program Officer:
  • Muralidharan Nair
  • (703) 292-7059

Awardee Location

Street:195 Basik Rd
Awardee Cong. District:19

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:WaveArray
Street:195 Basik Rd, Suite 306
Cong. District:25

Abstract at Time of Award

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project addresses biofouling (unwanted attachment of aquatic organisms, e.g. barnacles) of ships . Current antifouling methods are both harmful to the environment and costly. Toxic paints may pollute our seas and waterways. Maintenance to mitigate biofouling is labor-intensive, expensive, and somewhat hazardous. Increases in fuel costs due to frictional drag during a vessel’s operation can approach 40%. This project will develop an innovative electronic approach to biofouling prevention by developing submersible ultrasonic transducer arrays optimized for low voltage operation in a marina. The near-term commercial opportunity is with both marina owners and larger marina nationwide operators, with long-term opportunities in commercial and naval military transport, a total addressable market of approximately $10 billion. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will address the challenges for commercial deployment of transducer arrays to prevent biofouling of ships docked in marinas, and will enhance the scientific understanding of acoustic wave generation in water using piezoelectric transducers and the opportunity to use shock waves to prevent the attachment of bio-species to hulls of ships. The program has four scientific objectives: 1) Define the maximum fouling-free area and distance possible with a single, ultrasonic transducer mounted 30 to 50 cm underwater, on target surfaces 1 to 15 meters distant. 2) Achieve low-voltage operation required for commercial deployment, using new transducers with low impedance in submersible housings. 3) Develop an ultrasound sensor in a waterproof housing to create a coherent array for full coverage. 4) Develop a prototype electronically steerable array demonstrating a significantly larger biofouling-free area than a fixed transducer element, to enable use on larger ships, such as commercial and military transport. A beam-steering solution will reduce the required number of transducers for increased functionality. The program will innovate in areas such as acoustic beam steering, electronic design of piezoelectric transducers, and electro/mechanical design for submersible housings. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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