NASA SBIR 01-II Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: E1.06-9880 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 012119 )
PROPOSAL TITLE: Broadband Terahertz Frequency Multipliers

The spectral band from 1 - 5THz contains a wealth of information about the chemistry of the upper atmosphere and the structure and evolution of the Universe. The recent development of superconductive hot electron bolometers (HEBs) has made it possible for NASA to cover this frequency band with high-resolution heterodyne receivers with exceptional sensitivity. As a critical additional benefit, the HEB mixers require extremely low levels of local oscillator (LO) power. In fact system requirements of as little as one to ten microwatts make it feasible for the mixers to be pumped with solid-state sources based on a fundamental oscillator and a cascaded chain of frequency multipliers. However, multipliers for above 1 THz, even at these power levels, remain a formidable challenge. In fact, a frequency multiplier for Band 6 of the Heterodyne Radiometer for Herschel, spanning from 1,410 - 1,910 GHz, has not yet been demonstrated. Thus, the problem we propose to solve is the lack of a source of terahertz power suitable for preent and future NASA missions. This will be achieved through the use of our innovative and unique frequency quintupler circuit design and our proprietary GaAs-on-quartz circuit integration process.

The commercial market for terahertz components is not yet large enough to attract interest from major companies. However, it is ideal for a company of our size. Our terahertz customers include atmospheric researchers, radio astronomers, chemical spectroscopists, and nuclear and solid-state physicists. We also gain support from researchers and companies developing next generation electron paramagnetic resonance imaging systems, high data rate point-to-point communications, millimeter-wave radars above 100 GHz, millimeter and submillimeter-wave test equipment including vector network analyzers, the detection and monitoring of chemical and biological toxins in food processing facilities, contraband detection, and many more.
Further, this SBIR research will foster our move toward component designs with integrated circuits and fewer mechanical parts, thus easing assembly, increasing reliability and reducing costs. Because of this progress we will market components and systems that are useful not only to the most dedicated and determined scientists, but to a much wider base of users who are looking for a valuable and reliable tool rather than an impressive laboratory curiosity. Through this SBIR a much larger range of scientific experiments and future commercial applications becomes possible and the commercial market for our products will continue to grow.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Jeffrey L. Hesler
Virginia Diodes, Inc.
321 West Main Street
Charlottesville , VA   22903 - 5537

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Virginia Diodes, Inc.
321 West Main Street
Charlottesville , VA   22903 - 5537

Form Printed on 05-09-02 16:37