American Superconductor Receive DARPA Contract to Develop HTS Wire for Miliary Applications

American Superconductor Corporation, a leading electricity solutions company, today announced that it has received a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop ultra-high performance second generation (2G) high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire for advanced military applications including electronic warfare and electric weapons systems. The ultra-high performance wire will be based on the application of novel materials science technologies using AMSC nanotechnology-enabled 2G HTS wire as a platform.

AMSC expects the contract will yield a total of $3.1 million of revenue over the next three years.

"AMSC(TM) has achieved world-leading electrical performance in continuously processed lengths of 2G HTS wire by high-volume, low-cost manufacturing techniques," said Dr. Greg Yurek, American Superconductor's chief executive officer. "This new contract will be focused on utilizing our 2G HTS wire platform to introduce additional low-cost manufacturing methodologies that significantly boost the electrical performance of the wire.

While the goal under this contract is to meet the needs for special military applications, these improvements will have a direct benefit on our commercial 2G HTS wire."

AMSC is being funded as part of DARPA's Superconducting Hybrid Power program, which aims to develop very efficient cryogenic power systems that could offer up to an order of magnitude lower volume and weight than conventional ambient temperature power electronics, with better efficiency.

"DARPA is very excited to begin this program," said Dr. Stuart Wolf, DARPA program manager. "Success on this program will bring a direct and immediate benefit to our initiatives to develop advanced electric weapons platforms and systems."

Collaborating with AMSC on this program under separate contracts are the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Each of these laboratories brings materials science expertise and specialized characterization tools that will supplement the capabilities at AMSC.

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