NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 S1.02-9629
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Active Microwave Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Pulsed Power Amplifier for Enhanced Transmitter Power Output in L- and P-band T/R Modules (2007045)

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)
David Helms
20 Alpha Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824 - 4123
(978) 250-3343

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
For active microwave surveillance of earth surface and atmosphere, radar transceivers perform functions of probing the atmosphere and the surface conditions of the earth. The primary objective of Phase 1 is to establish a design baseline for a high-efficiency pulsed power amplifier MMIC/module operating at L-band frequency. Hittite has been working on development of L-band MMICs for all those functions and integration of the entire T/R module using an E/D PHEMT process. The transmitter power output of the current program is limited to about 2 watts. In Phase 2, the program objective should be expanded to include integration of the complete T/R module using the process compatible with the GaN amplifier design. The amplifier technology developed so far will be expanded to provide a design of a pulsed amplifier operating at the higher output level first. The second crucial part of this proposal is to establish a design baseline for pulsed power switches with power output capabilities at 300 watts at a max of 20% duty cycle.

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)
WBG devices offer higher power output, higher efficiency, and tolerance to higher temperature. Amplifiers made of WBG 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.
Hittite markets its MMIC products via two routes: by custom design of chips and modules to specific customer needs and by the sale of catalog items of those parts with generic applications potential. The products emerging from the proposed program will ultimately belong to the latter category, and Hittite will underwrite the cost of productization and product introduction. The current family of GaAs VCOs, and prescalers are examples of successful commercial products. Hittite derives over 80% of its revenue from commercial sales of its standard products.

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.


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