NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Antenna Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE:Novel Deployable High Frequency Antennas Using Composite Electro-Textiles

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Infoscitex Corporation
303 Bear Hill Road
Waltham, MA 02451-1016
(781) 890-1338

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
William   Thompson
303 Bear Hill Road
Waltham, MA  02451-1016
(781) 890-1338

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In this Phase I program, the Infoscitex (IST) team focused primarily on the design and fabrication of a prototype high accuracy electro-textile mesh leading to a prototype that weighed 0.42 kg/m2 and provided 99.8 percent reflectivity during testing at 38GHz. Light weight composite fiber core materials have been identified for the Phase II effort allowing the team to extrapolate a mesh areal weight of 0.21 kg/m2.

During the Phase I effort, the IST team also investigated passive inter-modulation (PIM) testing and developed material based design solutions to eliminate PIM for these prototype meshes. Limited US facilities exist for testing high frequency generated PIM and as a result, both the IST team and NASA have pledged to develop this service for both the NASA exploration and Air Force Responsive Space programs in the proposed Phase II program.

A unique wrapped rib approach to providing precision deployable antenna structures was also investigated. The resulting preliminary antenna support structure design was estimated to have an areal weight of 0.88 kg/m2. With refinements in Phase II, the structure is envisioned to provide sufficient shape definition for the parabolic antenna surface accuracy requirements for Ka band communication.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary NASA application envisioned for this technology is for the deployable antennae aboard the new space exploration satellites that provide communication links for the future manned Lunar and Martian missions and ultimately the manned bases on both the Moon and Mars.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Both commercial and military satellites are being designed with deployable antenna structures that operate at increasingly higher frequencies. These high frequency applications need antenna mesh or membrane materials capable of high reflection efficiency which drives higher areal coverage reflecting surfaces. The electro-textile mesh being developed in this SBIR program can provide higher efficiency reflection at lower areal density than that of the current metal wire antenna meshes.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Architectures and Networks
Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Modular Interconnects
Pilot Support Systems
Radiation Shielding Materials
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04