NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 S1.02-9217
PHASE 1 CONTRACT NUMBER: NNX12CE48P
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Active Microwave Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low-Cost Beamforming SiGe MMIC Receivers at mm-Wave

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
NxGen Electronics, Inc.
9771 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Suite C
San Diego, CA 92124 - 1300
(858) 430-1130

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Don Hayashigawa
donh@nxgenelectronics.com
9771 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Suite C
San Diego, CA 92124 - 1300
(858) 430-1113

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NxGEN Electronics Inc. (www.NxGENelectronics.com), teamed with its subcontractor Linear Signal, LLC (www.linearsignal.com) has successfully completed a Phase I contract for the 2011 NASA SBIR Phase I, Topic S1.02, subtopic, "Low Cost mm-wave Beamforming MMIC Receiver". These receivers, operating at 35.6 GHz and 94 GHz, are targeted for the space-borne, polarimetric, Doppler-capable radar for the NASA Aerosol/Cloud/Ecosystems (ACE) Mission, the successor to other cloud-study satellite missions such as CloudSat and EarthCare. The radar antenna itself will consist of 3.3 meter wide, 35.6 GHz and 94 GHz co-located linear antenna arrays that scan across the direction of orbit.

The size of integrated receiver electronics behind each of these arrays does not extend beyond the antenna outline. The critical physical specification for phased array antennas is the spacing between antenna elements. At 94 GHz, this implies an element spacing of 1.6 mm, while at 35.6 GHz the spacing is more generous at ~4.2 mm. Then, for this particular configuration of 3.3 meter wide arrays the total number of receive elements is ~800 for the 35.6 GHz antenna and ~2048 for the 94 GHz antenna. The integrated receiver combines multiple array elements and their supporting circuitry into one integrated electronics package which results in an order of magnitude reduction in per channel cost and size. Moreover, the decrease in package interconnect will also result in marked increase in reliability.
The other main goal of this project is to meet the functional requirements for W-band receiver. The original requirements per the Phase I solicitation is as follows:
- Frequencies: 35.6, 94 GHz
- Input Channels: 16
- Phase shifter: 360 degrees, 5 bits
- Serial phase update rate: > 10 kHz for all channels
- Output IF: 1 channel, < 2 GHz
- Bandwidth: >100 MHz

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA/JPL has ongoing mission plans for numerous critical earth observing and planetary missions. Many of them have in common the need for phased array radars optimized for specific frequencies, small size, low cost, and high functionality. From JPL, the deliverable packaged Rx beamformer MMIC from this Phase II will be used as the baseline to develop a fully functional MMIC Beamformer Receiver for a Phase IIe 10 cm wide linear demonstrator array. This would require the design and manufacture of 8 16 input Rx modules which would implement the more functional block diagram. The demonstrator array would in turn be used to win a contract for the 3.3m orbiting radar envisioned for the ACES program. This would require roughly 256 16 input MMIC beamformers.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA/JPL has ongoing mission plans for numerous critical earth observing and planetary experiments and data collection. Many of them have in common the need for phased array radars optimized for specific frequencies, small size, low cost, and high functionality. For some sensors, an operating frequency of 94 GHz reduces water absorption effects and enables key remote sensing science capabilities. Examples of U.S. satellite sensors currently operating in the 94 GHz range are the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) on one NASA satellite (Aqua) and four NOAA (15-18) satellites and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager Sounder (SSMI/S) on Department of Defense satellite F-16. Satellites operating at these frequencies are currently designed and built around discrete components or low functionality ASIC circuits resulting in high cost, large size, and reduced scientific capability.

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.)
Antennas
Characterization
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Condition Monitoring (see also Sensors)
Conversion
Joining (Adhesion, Welding)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Manufacturing Methods
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Metallics
Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) and smaller
Microfabrication (and smaller; see also Electronics; Mechanical Systems; Photonics)
Microwave
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Multiplexers/Demultiplexers
Perception/Vision
Power Combiners/Splitters
Processing Methods
Project Management
Prototyping
Quality/Reliability
Radiometric
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Support
Transmitters/Receivers


Form Generated on 09-07-12 11:40