Thompson Consulting, Inc.
Multi-disciplinary engineering R/D
Some Consulting Projects
Following are thumbnail sketches of some of our past consulting jobs in the areas of analog design, magnetics, power electronics, electrochemistry, and system design.
High Power Laser
Diode Modulator Based on Power Converter Technology
System designed for driving 500 mW to 2.5W diodes, at full optical power modulation up to frequencies of 10 MHz. The circuit is capable of delivering up to 2.5 A to a laser load, with a 10 - 90 % switching risetime from lasing threshold to full optical power output of less than 20 nanoseconds. The system has an active ripple reduction circuit which reduces current ripple to less than 1% of full scale. A current source is generated from a quasi-Buck converter technology for higher efficiency than previous laser drivers, allowing removal of a bulky heat sink. The PC board is connected to the laser through a microstrip cable. More detail is given in the paper here and in the US patent here.
Block diagram of laser diode driver
Transient response of laser output, 2 Watts full scale vertical
Semiconductor Diode Laser Modulators
Designed 3 Amp, 20 nanosecond risetime semiconductor diode modulator for driving gallium arsenide laser diodes. The driver had a dual-level diode ON current with adjustable overdrive amplitude and duration. Patents are pending on dual-level drive concept.
Dual-level laser driver test results using fast photodiode. 2 Watts optical power full scale vertical, 50 ns/div.
Supply for CCD Camera
Designed multiple output switching power supply for CCD camera. Included battery management and switching for multiple battery inputs.
Series Laser Diode
Designed 3 Amp, series laser driver for driving 8 GaAs diodes in series. Based on current-controlled Buck topology, switching at 200 kHz with T filter at output for reduced magnetics size.
Levitated Flywheel Energy Storage System
Assisted in successful Phase I S.B.I.R. preparation for magnetically levitated flywheel energy storage device. Performed stress analysis, rotational loss calculations, finite-element analyses and magnetic design. Assisted in successful Phase II proposal preparation. Am currently acting as consultant on Phase II NASA SBIR "Shaftless, Magnetically Levitated Flywheel Energy Storage System"
Offline Flyback Power Supply
Designed wide temperature range, universal input offline flyback power supply for ultrapure water instrumentation.
Assisted client in determining causes of laser diode failures in spectroscope application.
PC Board Spiral Inductors for Induction
Performed study to determine design tradeoffs in planar spiral inductors and transformers. Did comprehensive literature search, solved simplifying cases, and ran finite element analyses for selected geometries. From these studies, a set of design principles were identified.
modeled, and analyzed small PC board spiral inductors for induction heating
applications. Developed approximation methods and scaling laws, and did 2D and
3D finite-element analyses (
Planar spiral inductor geometry
R/D for Ultrapure
Did R/D and wrote SBIR for measurement of electrochemical effects at water/electrode interface. Designed miniature probe for measuring electrochemical effects at interface.
Electrochemical model of the water/electrode interface
Proximity Probe Analysis
Designed, modeled, and analyzed small capacitive proximity probes. Developed approximation methods, and did finite-element analysis (
Actuator Magnetic and Thermal Design
Did magnetic and thermal design for small lens actuator. Designed switching actuator driver for higher bandwidth and power delivery efficiency. Generated thermal models and finite-element analysis for design.
Magnetic actuator with flexural lens mounting
Algorithm for Photovoltaically-Driven Inverter
Design review and control system specification for 300 Watt 3-phase inverter system driven from a photovoltaic source. PC board layout review.
Eddy Current Brakes
Designed permanent magnet induction brakes for amusement park applications. Work included magnetic optimization and materials specification for brake electrodynamic and mechanical design. Have built scale-model fixture for evaluating different braking geometries, including linear brake arrays and Halbach arrays. Work with Magnetar Corporation
Identified acoustic ranging system for client company. Analyzed possibility of using alternate schemes using laser diode triangulation and time-of-flight measurements.
Performed forensic analysis on audiotape to determine if tape was modified/tampered.
Re-designed magnetic pick and place system for improved reliability
Other Consulting Projects
Thompson Consulting, Inc
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