SBIR Success Story: High Precision Devices, Inc. (HPD)
1668 Valtec Lane, Suite C
Boulder, CO 80301
Contact: William Hollander
E-Mail: bhollander [at] hpd-online.com
Project Title: Kilopixel array cryostat for multi-kilogram transition edge sensor (TES) arrays
NIST Award: SB1341-09-CN-0064
Technology Developed: HPD has developed, in conjunction with NIST andfunded in part by an SBIR grant, a millikelvin cryogenic chamber (cryostat) foruse with kilopixel arrays of TES sensors. These cryostats use a mechanicalcryocooler to reach a temperature of 3K, 3He sorption cooling toreach 300 mK, and an adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator (ADR) to reach abase temperature of about 23 mK. The subject of this SBIR is the developmentand integration of these three cooling technologies plus the structure tosupport a large kilopixel array camera.
Benefit to Company: Our participation in the SBIR program has been amajor factor in accelerating HPD's growth and the expansion of our cryogenicsproduct family, now far beyond the scope of the initial SBIR grant. In 2009,the year of our first SBIR grant, our total sales were only $2.3M and the portionof our sales related to cryogenic instruments was roughly half of that. Bycontrast, in 2015 we had total sales of $5.6M, with our cryostats and other cryogenicinstruments representing $3.5M. This equates to growth of total sales of 16%annually, and growth of our cryogenic sales of 23% annually, spurred by ourSBIR participation. With our current backlog of $4.5M indicating marketacceptance we see this trend continuing for the foreseeable future.
In that span of time HPD has gone from a minorparticipant in this market to an important player, with new additions to ourproduct family being introduced and accepted by the market at a rapid pace. Wehave increased our technical depth and breadth dramatically throughcollaborations with cutting-edge research groups worldwide, and our successfuldelivery of equipment to prestigious government, university, and private labs. Also,HPD has licensed some technologies through technology transfers for inclusionin our products.
Funding for this expansion has come primarily from our customers, with strategic help from SBIR grants and HPD internalR&D funds.
Impact to Company Growth: Tactical, Strategic.
How Product Was Commercialized: HPD occupies 10,000 square feet and employs more than 25 people in science and engineering, manufacturing operations (planning, purchasing, precision machining, assembly and testing), finance and administration, and sales. We have used the success of our cryogenic instrument product family as a model for developing new products in other technology areas. We have successfully won additional SBIR grants from NIST and other agencies, allowing us to develop and begin commercialization of new product families, including the area of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tissue phantoms.
Past R&D and/orSales from this Project (optional): Total sales directly related to the NIST SBIR SB1341-09-CN-0064 are about $1.4M to date after the initial SBIR funds ($300K) were used for product R&D.
Estimated Future Annual R&D and/or Sales from this Project: The product resulting from this SBIR R&D funding is projected to generate about $2M in sales annually for the next few years or more. No further SBIR funding has been sought for this specific product.