This SBIR proposal will focus on demonstration of the feasibility of developing Liquefied Gas Catholytes for Ultra-Low Lithium Primary Batteries. Electrochemical energy storage devices are critical to many of NASAs mission requirements. Low temperature energy storage is particularly critical in Ocean Worlds explorations, including Europa, Enceladus, Titan, Ganymede, Callisto, Ceres. Particularly, topic S3.03 of the solicitation calls for "advanced primary and secondary battery systems capable of operating at temperature extremes from -100 C for Titan missions". Further, topics S4.04 (Extreme Environment Technology) and Z1.02 (Surface Energy Storage) can benefit from the Ultra-Low Temperature Battery Technology proposed here for a number of other NASA missions.
Currently, Lithium Primary batteries operate adequately down to -80 C for the majority of applications where used. While there is not a large market for primary batteries with ultra-low temperature operation below -80 C, an increased energy density and/or cell with higher power capabilities with enhanced low temperature capability may find use in military applications where a long shelf life and high power, high energy density are required. Further, development of high-atmosphere drones and balloons are increasingly more common for telecommunications. Google's Loon program and Facebook's Aquilla are two prime examples where high atmosphere telecommunications are being developed. These devices get very cold in the high atmosphere, reaching temperatures as low as -70 C. Thermal insulation is often required to keep the batteries warm, adding to the mass and engineering requirements of the devices. A battery with high gravimetric energy density that operates very well at such temperatures would be ideal in such applications.