The objective is to develop and demonstrate the feasibility of an S-band communication radio capable of operation at extreme high temperatures and pressures in hostile and corrosive environments. Based on our recent R/R&D success of a 2.385 GHz power amplifier stripline-based microwave integrated circuit (MIC) employing 500C capable SSVDTM, for this Phase I SBIR, we will further address the 500C high temperature survivability of substrate material and associated striplines and circuit components which are also MIC and S-bands compatible. The goal is to realize and achieve an S-band communication receiver and transceiver capable of operation at extreme environments at least to 500C could be built in the Phase II effort. This proposed study directly addresses NASA’s interest and need in expanding the ability to explore deep atmospheres and surfaces of Moon, planets, asteroids, and comets through use of long-lived balloons and landers. The proposed development will ensure that S-band power amplifiers and the associated critical passive circuit components are developed and implemented including the filtering, impedance matching, etc. functions of the MICs. The result and outcome will be a complete S-band integrated communication transceiver that will support extreme temperature operations without additional environmental protection such as special housings in the extreme environments of NASA missions. Although applicable to other missions, we will focus on Venus mission and the requirements for Venus’ surface working condition. This mixer part of this work will also address the manufacturability of the MIC suitable for the Venus environment and ensure the radio to have high integration, high performance, high function, high reliability, small form factor, and low mass.
Anticipated outcome is long-life robust and reliable extreme environment communications and electronics. Once developed, there will be a family of RF and microwave integrated circuits and associated subsystems suitable for communications, radars, and related systems that can operate in extreme environment including Venus missions, atmospheric probes for giant planets. It will open up other applications including uncooled communications and electronics capable of warm environment operations of 50 to 300C in untreated air ambient.
The breath of the radio and associated electronics is broad and diverse for commercial applications in computing, signal processing, power electronics, RF transceivers, and in harsh environment, high to extreme temperature, and uncooled electronics for satellite communications, nuclear facilities, power plants, scientific research communities, material and geothermal processing industries, etc.