NASA STTR 2014 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 T5.01-9895
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Autonomous Communications Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low Cost Flexible Graphene-Based Digital Beam Forming Phased-Array Antennas

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC): RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI):
NAME: Omega Optics, Inc. NAME: Texas State University
STREET: 8500 Shoal Creek Boulevard, Building 4, Suite 200 STREET: 601 University Drive
CITY: Austin CITY: San Marcos
STATE/ZIP: TX  78757 - 7591 STATE/ZIP: TX  78666 - 4684
PHONE: (512) 996-8833 PHONE: (512) 245-1826

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Harish Subbaraman
harish.subbaraman@omegaoptics.com
8500 Shoal Creek Blvd, Bldg 4, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78757 - 7591
(872) 588-2689

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Gloria H Chen
gloria.chen@omegaoptics.com
8500 Shoal Creek Blvd, Bldg4, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78757 - 7591
(512) 996-8833 Extension :302

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Autonomous Communications Systems 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)
Communication technologies support all NASA space missions, among which autonomous communication technologies are extremely beneficial to future missions. Communication technologies will expand mankind's understanding of planet earth and the universe. As the needs to gather more data, even more advanced antenna technologies will be essential to deliver orders of magnitude more data. Low cost high data-rate flexible active digital beam forming phased array antenna (PAA) is one of the enabling technologies. Graphene is one-atom-thick planar sheet of carbon atoms that has mobility of charge carriers in excess of 200,000 cm2V−1s−1. It is the lowest resistivity substance known at room temperature. The extremely low resistivity makes graphene the next generation conductor that we are going to use as interconnects and antenna elements. Graphene also has supreme mechanical properties extremely suitable for flexible electronics. It is lighter, stronger, harder and more flexible than steel. Furthermore, it is a recyclable and sustainably manufacturable product that is eco-friendly. Another advantage of graphene antennas is that due to the reduced wave propagation speed of graphene, the size of antenna can be reduced to a factor of 10, which is critical for the routing and power dissipation for large number element arrays.

Prototype of a fully graphene-based 4-bit 4-element digital beam forming PAA on flexible substrate such as Kapton, including antennas, field effect transistor (FET) switches and phase shifters will be developed. Performance features of the flexible PAA will be characterized including frequency/bandwidth, gain/efficiency, and power consumption. The flexible high-speed electronics will enable active PAA deployment for NASA's lunar mission, including pressurized rovers, pressurized habitats, surface navigation, EVA, and etc.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
(1) For autonomous communication systems
Low power, low cost, reconfigurable digital beam forming antennas can increase capacity and enable more efficient high-data data handling and delivery.
(2) 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). Our technology will enable large-area inflatable active PAA deployment, due to the dramatically reduced cost (estimated cost/per element around $20 for large arrays).
(3) 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.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The high operating frequency of the flexible graphene-FET is particularly useful in many Non-NASA applications requiring ultra-sensitive and standalone, including:
(1) RF identification tags;
(2) Sensors;
(3) Smart cards;
(4) Transparent conductors;
(5) Electronic papers;
(6) large area flat panel displays.

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
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Astronautics)
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Nanomaterials
Navigation & Guidance
Ranging/Tracking
Routers, Switches
Telemetry/Tracking (Cooperative/Noncooperative; see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Transmitters/Receivers

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37