This Oklahoma-based business has received worldwide recognition from NASA for their work on the International Space Station. The company designed and manufactured a component of the system that controls the movement of the space station’s solar panels, a vital source of energy for the space station that, if not positioned correctly, can jeopardize the function of the spacecraft. The company also manufactures the engine fuel display unit used in the U.S. Navy’s Super Hornet fighter jets. This instrument provides pilots with mission-critical fuel and engine performance information such as monitoring fuel levels and notifying pilots of how much flying time they have remaining before they must return to their aircraft carrier.
Power is a concern for most of Frontier Electronic Systems’ aerospace and defense clients. So when the company began looking at expanding their technology base and long-term strategic growth, they saw a research opportunity.
Frontier Electronic Systems, in collaboration with the University of Tulsa, is using OCAST funds to support development of a new product – nano-structured lithium ion batteries. These small power sources will have uses in many different products – from national defense to healthcare. Once research is completed and the product is ready, the company anticipates being able to launch a second business which would also be based in Oklahoma and eventually could lead to the opening of a second manufacturing facility.
“One of our clients is interested in the nano-batteries for use in missiles,” said Dr. Brenda Rolls, Frontier Electronic Systems president. “Current batteries are troublesome for missiles because of the high levels of heat they emit, their combustibility and the safety concerns that accompany these characteristics. The nano-battery is less likely to have these undesirable chemical reactions and would potentially be much safer.”
OCAST also introduced Frontier Electronic Systems to another client, VADovations Inc., to produce a nano-battery for their miniature blood pump.
“They each had something the other needed to develop a viable product,” said Luton. “It’s rewarding to connect two Oklahoma companies, and it will ultimately benefit our state’s economy to have growth in these two small businesses.”