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Power Skin Request for Information (RFI)

Solicitation Number: DARPA-SN-09-26
Agency: Other Defense Agencies
Office: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Location: Contracts Management Office
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Special Notice
Added: Apr 03, 2009 11:38 am

Contracting Office Address

Other Defense Agencies, Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency, Contracts Management Office, 3701
North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA, 22203-1714


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Microsystems
Technology Office (MTO) is requesting information on novel research ideas and
approaches for developing a Power Skin technology. No funding has currently
been allocated to this effort, a Broad Agency Announcement and/or other
solicitation may or may not result from the findings of this RFI.

The vision of “Power Skin” is to explore an integrated solution
for lightweight structural material that provides its own day and night
power.  The over arching goal is to
exploit innovative energy harvesting and storage technologies and integrate
them into a form factor that is essentially a thin monolithic sheet.  The latter should be robust and have the
structural integrity to be used as an independent power source and,
simultaneously, serve as the structural material to build lightweight platforms
such as UAVs and other robots.  “Power
Skin” technology will enable a host of new applications that require flexible,
conformal, moldable, scalable, very thin and ultra lightweight power materials
in small to large form factors.  The
technology offers future potential for high-throughput manufacturing processes
such as roll-to-roll fabrication.  The objectives
of the “Power Skin” concept are three-fold:

1)     Day/Night energy harvesting from the environment

2)     Energy storage and recharge capabilities

3)     Integration of the harvesting and storing
components into thin sheets and/or on a thin lightweight backing material for
structural integrity

As a notional scenario, the “Power Skin” development can be
framed as power material to be used in small UAVs to demonstrate continuous
flight for four days.  The ultimate goal
is to develop a technology that will enable indefinite flight endurance.  This RFI is seeking to find ideas and
possible metrics related to “Power Skin” for small UAVs.  For example, what are the minimum power
requirements for a micro/mini UAV to fly continuously for four days?  The proposed approaches for energy harvesting
and storage must consider flexible, conformal, moldable and scalable designs in
a very thin and lightweight form-factor.  The energy harvesting skin could be multi-modal in a layered or
laterally periodic design.  The storage
skin could be a novel battery or other embodiment that directly stores the
energy from the energy harvesting skin and has the option to recharge from
available power source when not in use.


This announcement contains all information required to submit a
position paper.  No additional forms,
kits, or other materials are needed.

DARPA appreciates responses from all capable and qualified
sources, including but not limited to universities, university affiliated
research centers, federally-funded research centers, private or public
companies, and Government research laboratories.  Position papers have the following formatting

1)     A
one page cover sheet that identifies the title, organization(s), responder's
technical and administrative points of contact - including names, addresses,
phone and fax numbers, and email addresses of all co-authors;

2)     A
single overview briefing chart graphically depicting the key ideas;

3)     A
technical description (limited to 5 pages in minimum 10 point font) of the technical
challenges and approach (which includes a detailed calculation of the device
parameters that will enable it to meet the proposed metrics).  In addition, a pathway to achieve those
parameters should be outlined.

4)     A
discussion, limited to one page, on the applications where the proposed technology
would have the largest impact.

5)     A
list of citations (Any significant claims or reports of success must be
accompanied by citations, and reference material MUST be attached).

6)     The
above should be submitted as MS Word, PDF, and/or MS PowerPoint documents.

Responders are requested to include “DARPA-SN-09-26” in the
subject line of any email correspondence. Respondents must submit one
electronic copy of the full RFI response (in Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, and/or Microsoft
PowerPoint) to Responses to this RFI are due no later than
4:00PM, Local Time, Arlington, VA, on May 6, 2009. ANY INQUIRIES ON THIS RFI MUST


This is an RFI issued solely for information and new program
planning purposes and does not constitute a solicitation. Respondents are
advised that DARPA is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the
information received, or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any
information submitted under this RFI.

In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are
not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract.
Responders are solely responsible for all expenses associated with responding
to this RFI.

Original Point of Contact

Nibir Dhar, Program Manager, MTO,

Phone 571-218-4240,
Fax 703-248-8042,



3701 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, Virginia 22203-1714
Nibir Dhar,
Program Manager
Phone: 571-218-4240
Fax: 703-696-2206