NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 S1.02-9580
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Microwave Technologies for Remote Sensing
PROPOSAL TITLE: Integrated Receivers for NASA Radiometers

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Virginia Diodes, Inc.
979 Second Street, Southeast
Charlottesville, VA 22902 - 6172
(434) 297-3257

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jeffrey L Hesler
979 Second Street, SE
Charlottesville, VA 22902 - 6172
(434) 297-3257

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Thomas Crowe
979 Second Street, SE
Charlottesville, VA 22902 - 6172
(434) 297-3257

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?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This proposal is responsive to NASA SBIR Subtopic S1.02: Microwave Technologies for Remote Sensing, 640GHz Polarimeter. VDI has recently demonstrated the integration of a WR10 Mixer-Amplifier Multiplier chain (MixAMC), including the LO and IF amplifier MMICs, into a single waveguide housing. The focus of the proposed research is the extension these innovative integration technologies to include additional components required for atmospheric radiometers, and to extend the resulting technology across the frequency band of interest to NASA. Such integration will fundamentally improve the size, weight, reliability and cost of terahertz receivers. Additionally, the integration of a newly available low noise MMIC amplifier at the front-end of the receiver will allow these improvements to be achieved with an overall reduction in the power requirements and an increase in receiver sensitivity. At the end of the Phase 2 VDI will deliver to NASA a very compact and reliable receiver system suitable for polarimetric measurements at 640GHz. The ultimate result of this SBIR program will be the commercial availability of compact, reliable and cost effective receiver systems throughout the frequency range of interest for atmospheric remote sensing, including polarimetric measurement capabilities. Additionally, the new compact receivers will be compatible with CubeSats, which are expected to play a very important role in future atmospheric remote sensing missions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary application of the new integrated receiver systems will be atmospheric remote sensing throughout the frequency range from 50GHz through 670GHz, and potentially higher with follow-on research. The new receivers will find application on airborne platforms such as CoSSIR, on satellite missions such as JPSS, and in the future CubeSats, which are expected to play an increasingly important role for atmospheric studies. Potentially, these compact receivers can also be used on future planetary probes, particularly to develop a better understanding of planetary atmospheres.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Scientific applications of terahertz technology include radio astronomy, chemical spectroscopy, plasma diagnostics, biomaterial analysis, electron spin resonance of biomolecules, and diagnostics for plasma fusion and particle accelerators. Other terahertz applications related to military requirements include compact range radars, covert communications systems, imaging systems, and chemical, explosive and bioagent scanners. Biomedical researchers envision the use of terahertz imaging and spectroscopy for the real time analysis of skin cancer. Potential commercial applications of the proposed terahertz technology include portal security imagers and scanners, medical diagnostics, last-mile data links, and industrial process control.
One market of critical importance is commercial test and measurement. VDI manufactures frequency extension modules for network analyzers, spectrum analyzers and signal generators. This is a rapidly emerging market that is, in fact, driving much of the growth in the terahertz field. As test and measurement capabilities improve, scientists and engineers are able to better characterize and understand their new components and systems. Through this proposed research, VDI will develop the technology needed to realize more compact, reliable and cost efficient test and measurement equipment for the frequency range from 50GHz through 1.1THz.

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.)
Terahertz (Sub-millimeter)

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37