NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 S1.02-9987
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Active Microwave Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: An Integration Platform for Dual-Polarized W-Band Antenna Arrays

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nuvotronics, LLC
7586 Old Peppers Ferry Road
Radford, VA 24141 - 8846
(800) 341-2333

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Ken Vanhille
kvanhille@nuvotronics.com
7586 Old Peppers Ferry Loop
Radford, VA 24141 - 8846
(800) 341-2333

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A few NASA decadal missions such as the Aerosol Clouds Ecosystems (ACE) mission require space-based millimeter-wave radar apertures to complete the science objectives. We propose to create dual-polarized microfabricated copper-based antenna apertures with integrated MMICs that go beyond the capabilities funded to date at the upper frequencies of interest by enabling electronic scanning at W-band frequencies, while not precluding the co-location of Ka-band capability in the same aperture. This Phase I effort will constitute element-, feed-, MMIC-, and array-level analyses of the trade space for the proposed aperture. In addition we will provide a hardware demonstration of MMIC integration on the necessary scale for W-band phased arrays and high-efficiency dual polarized antenna elements. The Phase II effort would integrate MMIC functionality with the antennas to create an array tile that will be fully characterized.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are several applications for active mm-wave antennas of interest to NASA. Active millimeter-wave imaging is very promising for a wide range of remote sensing NASA missions including the measurement of precipitation and characterization of cloud properties as for the Aerosol, Cloud and Ecosystems (ACE) mission The Mars Science Laboratory, scheduled for launch in fall of 2011, will have a Ka-band sensor that is able to take advantage of many of the benefits of millimeter-wave imaging. Interest exists to move the technology up in frequency to decrease the size and weight of the landing radar. In addition, satellite communication is moving to V-Band, and the proposed effort would have application at these lower frequencies. The dual-polarized microfabricated copper-based antenna apertures with integrated MMICs present enabling capabilities for each of these applications and others using this frequency range.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are several applications for active mm-wave antenna arrays outside of NASA. NOAA and other government organizations use W-band for instruments with similar frequency capability as what would be required for the NASA Aerosol, Cloud Ecosystem (ACE) mission. Raytheon uses this frequency range for Active Denial, and a more efficient front end could be useful for this type of system. In addition, the Air Force is very interested in satellite communication capability at V-Band, and the proposed effort would have application at these lower frequencies. The DARPA system technology office recently released a broad agency announcement for W-band silicon-based phased arrays. Improved antenna and amplifier efficiency for the front end of these sensors would be achieved using the proposed technology. The dual-polarized microfabricated copper-based antenna apertures with integrated MMICs present enabling capabilities for each of these applications and others using this frequency range.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Amplifiers/Repeaters/Translators
Antennas
Microfabrication (and smaller; see also Electronics; Mechanical Systems; Photonics)
Microwave
Power Combiners/Splitters
Radiography
Transmitters/Receivers


Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43