NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-E1.04-8306 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034699)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Passive Microwave
PROPOSAL TITLE:An all MMIC Replacement for Gunn Diode Oscillators

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
VIRGINIA DIODES INC.
321 West Main Street
Charlottesville ,VA 22903 - 5537
(434) 297 - 3257

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David W. Porterfield
Porterfield@VirginiaDiodes.com
321 West Main Street
Charlottesville ,VA  22903 -5537
(434) 297 - 3257
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
We propose to replace the Gunn Diode Oscillators (GDOs) in NASA?s millimeter- and submillimeter-wave sensing instruments. Our new solution will rely on modern and reliable microwave integrated circuit technology. Specifically our systems will use highly developed microwave oscillators to achieve a low noise and highly stable reference signal in the 10 ? 30 GHz band. Compact amplifiers based on commercial MMIC chips will then increase the signal strength. Finally, our innovative integrated varactor multiplier circuits will be used to increase the frequency to the 60 ? 150 GHz frequency band with high efficiency and minimal added phase noise. With this technology we expect to achieve phase noise and stability comparable to the best Gunn diode oscillators and fundamentally improved output power and frequency agility. The millimeter-wave integrated circuit process and diode technologies are the critical innovative technologies that are required for this research. Through this SBIR project these innovative technologies will be extended to achieve highly compact multipliers for the 60 ? 150 GHz band. These new multipliers will be integrated with highly developed microwave components to achieve a robust and cost efficient replacement for the GDOs presently used in NASA?s Earth Science program.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
NASA?s Earth Science program relies on millimeter- and submillimeter-wave technology to study the chemical constituents and dynamics of the Earth?s atmosphere. These studies are critical to gaining a better understanding of environmental problems such as ozone depletion and climate change. A critical component of these systems is the fundamental oscillator that must supply sufficient power and spectral purity, while also achieving suitable reliability and cost effectiveness in a small and lightweight package. The result of this research will be highly compact oscillators that out perform all presently available systems and are well suited for NASA?s Earth Science program.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
We foresee a strong market for our broadband terahertz components and systems. A highly reliable and cost efficient oscillator with low phase noise is a vital component for many applications. These include local oscillators for heterodyne receivers, sources for chemical spectroscopy and electron spin resonance systems, transmitters for high frequency, and possibly covert, communications systems and sources for security scanners. Through this SBIR project we will develop the demonstration prototypes which will then be shaped into optimized systems for each of these important applications.