NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 O1.04-8886
PHASE 1 CONTRACT NUMBER: NNX08CB39P
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Antenna Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Fully printed flexible 4-bit 2D (4x4) 16-element phased array antenna for lunar surface communications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
OMEGA OPTICS, INC.
10435 Burnet Road, Suite 108
Austin, TX 78758 - 4450
(512) 996-8833

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Maggie Y. Chen
maggie.chen@omegaoptics.com
10435 Burnet Road, Suite 108
Austin, TX 78758 - 4450
(512) 996-8833

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA's future exploration missions focus on the manned exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond, which will rely heavily on the development of a reliable communications infrastructure from planetary surface-to-surface, surface-to-orbit and back to Earth. Flexible antennas are highly desired in many scenarios, such as pressurized rovers, pressurized habitats, space suits, and any other applications that require conformal profiles. Existing flexible electronics has an intrinsic low switching frequency due to their low carrier mobility. The CNT network in solution we used has carrier mobility as high as 46770cm2/V•s and a large current-density carrying capacity of ~1000 mA/cm2, corresponding to a high carrying power of over 2000mW/cm2. Such high carrier mobility and large current carrying capacity allow us to achieve high-speed (>100GHz), high power flexible electronic circuits and antennas. A prototype of a fully printed S-band 4-bit 2D (4x4) 16-element PAA on flexible substrate such as Kapton, including FET based T/R module and phase shifters will be developed and optimized. For the FETs working as switches/amplifiers, the switch speed, on-off ration, the gain, noise figure, insertion loss and power consumption will be significantly improved through finding better gate dielectric material, increasing the CNT purity and the optimizing the FET geometry including the channel length and the channel width. Performance features of the printed PAA will be characterized including frequency/bandwidth, gain/efficiency, and power consumption. To survive NASA's stressing environment, the operating temperature range will be investigated and the performance under shock and vibration will be evaluated. The humidity test and aging tests will also be carried out. Radiation hard test will also be carried out in Phase II under the program manager's guidance.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The flexible PAAs can be used in lunar communication networks, space suits, large inflatable PAAs, high power electronics/antennas, and etc.
(1) For Lunar local networks
Lunar local networks are expected to provide coverage for short (~10m) to medium range (~5-10km) communications at UHF/S/C-band, with date rates not to exceed 19 Mbps. The S-band PAA is specially designed for the lunar local communications.
(2) For space suits during EVA
Compared with the ongoing research at JSC for EVA communications, our fully printed antenna can be "stick-on" directly on the outside of the space suit, while the wearable e-textile antenna is integrated into the clothing. It allows for optimal antenna placement for dynamic situations and can be easily peeled-off for exchange or repair.The printing process is much cheaper than weaving into space suite.
(3) For large inflatable PAA
Among all large active PAA issues, the most serious is its cost (an electronic phase shifter costs between $200 and $5,000). The printing technology will enable large-area inflatable active PAA deployment, due to the dramatically reduced cost (estimated cost/per element around $20 for large arrays).
(4) High power electronics/antenna
The CNT we used has a large current-density carrying capacity of ~1000 mA/cm2, corresponding to a high carrying power of 2000mW/cm2. Such a large power carrying capability allows this technology to be used in high power electronics/antenna applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The high operating frequency of the flexible nano-FET is particularly useful in many Non-NASA applications requiring ultra-sensitive and standalone, including:
(1) RF identification tags
Omega Optics, Inc. has teamed up with the world leading RFID company, Checkpoint, for collaboration in high frequency RFID development. A supporting letter is attached in the proposal.
(2) Sensors;
Omega Optics, Inc. has teamed up with the world leading sensor company, Sensortran, for collaboration in conformal sensor development. A supporting letter is attached in the proposal.
(3) Smart cards;
(4) Electronic papers;
(5) large area flat panel displays;

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.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Highly-Reconfigurable
Large Antennas and Telescopes
RF
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials
Ultra-High Density/Low Power


Form Generated on 10-23-08 13:36