This project focuses on the development of compact and robust power electronics systems for military installations, especially on ships and aircraft with limited space onboard. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense with a $2.5 million grant for three years starting in April 2020. Using Gallium Nitride (GaN) power technology, the first part of the project includes developing power converters using gallium nitride (GaN) devices, capable of quickly storing and discharging energy to operate the radar systems. With higher operating switching frequency, it is contributed to allows passive components in the circuit – including capacitors and inductors – to be designed at much smaller dimensions.
The other part focused on using machine learning to predict the lifespan of GaN devices, as well as of circuits employing these devices – based on real datasets. The use of GaN technology in power applications is relatively new, and online assessing how long they will continue to operate in a circuit remains a challenge. Hence, this part focuses on designing a compact-onboard health monitoring to predict the lifetime of individual components, primarily GaN and capacitors that may be extended to other components as well. This project involved the support of Tagore Technology, a semiconductors company based in Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA.