NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 O1.09-9627
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Long Range Space RF Telecommunications
PROPOSAL TITLE: MMIC for High-Efficiency Ka-BAnd GaN Power Amplifiers (2007043)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Hittite Microwave Corporation
20 Alpha Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824 - 3596
(978) 250-3343

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Belinda Piernas
20 Alpha Road
Chelmsford , MA 01824 - 4123
(978) 250-3343

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This proposal addresses the need for high-efficiency, high-output power amplifiers operating in the Ka-band frequencies. For space communications, the power amplifier in the transmitter consumes the most prime power and impacts the size of the payload package as well as the size of the power source. The proposed program is aimed at increasing the available output power up to 5 watts with a power-added efficiency of the final stage greater than 50%. The primary device technology selected for these amplifier designs is the Gallium-Nitride (GaN) PHEMT (Pseudomorphic High Electron Mobility Transistor) technology. This technology offers high power density, potential high frequency of operation, and excellent thermal characteristic.

The primary objective of this Phase 1 SBIR is to establish the feasibility and preliminary simulation of two Ka-band high-efficiency, high-power amplifiers (HPAs) operating in the frequency range of 26 – 32 GHz and 32 – 38 GHz respectively. Optimum topology and class of operation of the amplifiers will be investigated. Hittite's efforts also include assessment of the technology and the status of development of GaN processes offered by a number of GaN foundries. The HPA MMICs will be fabricated and fully characterized as part of the Phase 2 effort of this program.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Power amplifiers are critical components in all communications and radar transmitters. Improved power output and power-added efficiency will aid performance of transmitters and reduce the size of the payload. Such power amplifiers will be found useful in all space-borne platforms with limited allocation for size and weight for component parts. The end product of the proposed program, therefore, will have applications in space-borne transponders, earth and space exploration radars, radio-frequency spectrometers, radiometers, and others.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Gallium Nitride (GaN) devices offer higher power output, higher efficiency, and tolerance to higher temperatures. Amplifiers made of GaN devices will ultimately replace amplifiers made of GaAs devices used in many commercial communication systems. Those systems include: wireless infrastructure, satellite ground terminals, point-to-point radios, etc. The projected number of terminals for those systems adds up to millions, representing a large market comparable to cellular and personal communication systems bands.

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.

Attitude Determination and Control
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Large Antennas and Telescopes
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50