NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 S1.02-8518
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Microwave Technologies for Remote Sensing
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Speed Digitizer for Remote Sensing

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Alphacore, Inc.
2972 West Katapa Trail
Tucson, AZ 85742 - 4806
(520) 647-4445

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Esko Mikkola
engineering@alphacoreinc.com
2972 W Katapa Trail
Tucson, AZ 85742 - 4806
(520) 647-4445

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Esko Mikkola
engineering@alphacoreinc.com
2972 W Katapa Trail
Tucson, AZ 85742 - 4806
(520) 647-4445

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Microwave Technologies for Remote Sensing is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Alphacore, Inc. proposes to design and characterize a 24Gsps (giga-samples per-second), 6-bit, low-power, and low-cost analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for use in a wide range of NASA's microwave sensor based remote sensing applications. The goal of this program is to provide an ultra-high-speed, low-power ADC that does both, provides excellent interfacing capabilities to top FPGAs and also has an optimized low-power spectrometer DSP backend available to be integrated on the same chip. The proposed ADC employs an innovative topology with high-bandwidth front-end sampling circuit combined with a flash-type ADC and encoder circuitry that simplifies FPGA interfacing. Innovative and effective digital calibration is used to guarantee spurious free Nyquist frequency band which is an important requirement in remote sensing applications.Comparable commercial ADCs are based on expensive and power-hungry bipolar transistor technologies such as indium phosphide (InP), gallium arsenide (GaAs) and silicon germanium (SiGe). Alphacore designs take advantage of the latest low-power, high-speed digital CMOS processes, resulting in ADC power consumption that is less than 1/8 of the power consumption of competitor ADCs. Using a CMOS process provides additional advantages in that we can leverage existing intellectual property (IP) to enhance the system-level integration of the ADC, e.g., on-chip digital calibration logic, data buffer memory, high-speed transceiver logic, and direct on-chip DSP capabilities.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The goal of this program is to provide an ultra-high-speed, low-power ADC that does both, provides excellent interfacing capabilities to top FPGAs and also has an optimized low-power spectrometer DSP backend available to be integrated on the same chip. Natural and human-induced changes in Earth's interior, land surface, biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans affect all aspects of life. Understanding these changes requires a range of observations acquired from land-, sea-, air-, and space-based platforms. NASA is seeking innovative technologies to support future radar and radiometer sensors missions and applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
While the initial development of the ADC targets the stringent requirements of NASA's space-based remote sensing applications, the ADC has wider commercial applications in; radio astronomy, networking (100/400Gbps Ethernet), communication data transmission applications, defense radar and electronic warfare systems, automated test equipment (ATE), ultra-fast digital oscilloscopes, high-energy physics experiments and ultra-high speed digitizer boards.
The Alphacore marketing team has already researched immediate market opportunities for the ADC, mostly in the field of radio astronomy applications. This market opportunity has a reasonable size.
One of the main tasks during phase I will be to research other listed market sectors and create strong commercialization strategies for all these sectors.

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.)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Microwave
Radiometric

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37