NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 08.02-2100A

PROJECT TITLE : Super Low Noise High Electron Mobility Transistors and Amplifier Monolithic Integrated Circuits for Ka-band to Millimeter-Wave Satellite Communications

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Novel super low noise high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) and low noise amplifier (LNA) monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) are proposed for Ka-band to millimeter-wave communication applications. Fabricated Al(0.38)Ga(0.62)As(0.53)Sb(0.47)/In(0.53)Ga(0.47)As HEMTs with quantum well offsets of ~0.85 eV will be qualified by mm-wave test and measurement under Phase I. 2- to 4-stage LNA MMICs will be produced under Phase II to operate within 28-40 GHz (Ka-band) and 40-65 GHz for satellite communication networks. FCC frequency allocation is creating commercial demand for LNA MMICs to ensure supply for NASA. The HEMT technology, with >31% increase in conduction band discontinuity over the current state-of-the-art at 0.65 eV, could yield HEMT noise figures below 0.5 dB at 60 GHz and below 1.0 dB at 94 GHz. Also, device gains from increased 2-DEG sheet densities will contribute to lower multiple stage LNA MMIC noise figures. Reduction of the HEMT Al content from 100% in In0.52Al0.48As devices to 38% in Al(0.38)Ga(0.62)As(0.53)Sb(0.47) devices will increase resistance to thermal oxidation and degradation. The low voltage, compact LNA MMICs can increase network range, lower transmitter power and reduce mass for NASA space communication systems.
POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
End applications include mobile digital, point-to-point, and satellite communications; wireless area networking (WAN); high resolution radar and tracking; telemetry; mm-wave sensing, astronomy and imaging; and RF identification. FCC bands at 47.6-47.8, 59-64, and 76-77 GHz and European/Japanese bands at 50-60, 63-64, and 94-95 GHz have recently been allocated for collision avoidance, intelligent transportation systems, and 5 Gb/s digital data links.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Robert Hickman II,
SVT Associates, Inc.,
7620 Executive Drive,
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
SVT Associates, Inc.,
7620 Executive Drive,
Eden Prairie, MN 55344