NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: E1.04-9866 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 012133 )
PROPOSAL TITLE:
Compact Terahertz Heterodyne Receivers

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
There exists a need for versatile, compact and affordable heterodyne receivers for atmospheric remote sensing from aircraft and space platforms, as well as a host of other scientific, military and commercial applications. In Phase I we will utilize our innovative GaAs-on-dielectric integrated circuit fabrication process and novel circuit designs to develop a highly compact receiver for the frequency band from 750 GHz through 1,050 GHz. This band is particularly important for investigations of ice crystals and cirrus clouds and is not conveniently measured with present technology. The versatility of the receiver will be demonstrated by its broad bandwidth that will be achieved without tuners and its ability to operate at room temperature or cooled. The compactness will be achieved by the integration of the mixer and multiplier circuits into a single waveguide block without ferrite isolators. The system will be affordable because VDI's innovative technologies eliminate tuners and make fabrication less costly. Also, the full waveguide bandwidth greatly increases the market for each component, thereby lowering production costs. In Phase II we will integrate the complete receiver, including the LO amplifier, multiplier and mixer circuit, and first stage IF amplifier into a single, compact metal housing.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The Terahertz frequency band is often sited as the most scientifically rich, yet unexplored region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Since 1997 Virginia Diodes, Inc. has fabricated and marketed GaAs diode technology to researchers throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. Also, through our research at UVa we are well known by the Terahertz community. Our innovative technologies allow the realization of highly compact, full waveguide-band receivers with excellent sensitivity and no mechanical tuners. Also, these integrated components are easy to manufacture and extremely reliable. Once these receivers are available, we expect commercial applications of terahertz technology to become possible. The initial market will consist mostly of scientists and engineers developing terahertz components and systems, and manufacturers of research and test equipment. However, as we succeed in reducing costs we envision high data rate, point-to-point communication systems, medical diagnostic tools and methods to monitor bacterial contaminants in food processing plants.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Dr. David W. Porterfield
Virginia Diodes, Inc.
327-B West Main Street
Charlottesville , VA   22903 - 5551

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Virginia Diodes, Inc.
327-B West Main Street
Charlottesville , VA   22903 - 5551


Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44