High-Performance and Durable Lithium-Ion Battery for NASA Space Applications

(PI Dr. E. Duke, Science PI Dr. A. Smirnova)

Research Infrastructure Development investments in South Dakota serve to build sustainable collaborations between state research teams and NASA in the agency’s space technology focus areas. As an example of this strategy, beginning in 2013, potential collaboration was identified in the technical area of Space Power and Energy Storage. A statewide, multi-institution battery research interest group was organized. A seed grant of $50,000 was awarded to a team from South Dakota Mines and the University of South Dakota (PI Dr. Smirnova) in order to conduct preliminary research on high performance lithium ion batteries, to develop a broader statewide team, and to build strategic partnerships with NASA centers. The South Dakota team established additional connections with five industry partners and two Department of Energy labs, and a NASA Glenn Faculty Fellowship for Dr. Smirnova in summer 2013 helped to solidify connections with NASA researchers. In addition, four state researchers have been awarded NASA EPSCoR travel grants to NASA Aerospace Battery Workshops in 2013 and 2014. In 2013 three undergraduate students from Dr. Smirnova’s group were awarded by the NASA Space Grant Consortium ($9,500) to support the lithium ion battery research at Mines. Further support for the effort came from a major grant from the South Dakota Board of Regents for battery testing equipment. With this strong foundation of state, industry, and NASA cooperation, the South Dakota group was awarded a 2014 NASA EPSCoR Research Award of $750,000 supporting seven investigators at three major universities (PI Dr. Duke, Science PI Dr. Smirnova).


Fig.1: Methodology of the South Dakota Mines approach toward high power and high energy density lithium ion batteries with silicon-based anodes developed under South Dakota NASA EPSCoR and Glenn Research Center project.

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