NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 E1.05-9679
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Active Microwave
PROPOSAL TITLE: Flexible T/R Modules for Large-Aperture, Space-Based SAR

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
SI2 Technologies, Inc.
200 Turnpike Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824-4000
(978)606-2601

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Erik S. Handy
ehandy@si2technologies.com
200 Turnpike Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824-4000
(978)606-2601

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
SI2 Technologies, Inc (SI2) proposes to develop membrane compatible transmit/receive (T/R) modules for flexible, space-deployable synthetic aperture radar (SAR) antenna arrays. Large-aperture, yet lightweight SARs are desired for many Earth science monitoring applications as they may be placed at higher orbits which offer greater coverage and shorter interferometric repeat times. However, the technology for manufacturing T/R modules on flexible membranes has limited the development of these space based arrays. SI2's innovation is to apply its laser transfer Direct Write techniques to fabricate a flexible T/R module which can be integrated with each array element. SI2's proprietary laser transfer processes will be used to "print" pre-fabricated active electronics (e.g. conventional semiconductor devices such as amplifiers, switches, etc.) on large area, flexible substrates directly from off-the-shelf wafers. The result of the proposed effort will be a demonstrated pathway for manufacturing T/R modules on flexible substrates which will further the development of lightweight, large-aperture, electronically-steerable space based radar arrays.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The proposed technology will advance the state-of-the-art in large-aperture, electronically steerable, space-based radar arrays which are required by future NASA Earth science monitoring missions. In order to reduce the cost of such systems, membrane antennas are being developed due to their lower weight and storage volumes compared to rigid systems. Conventional transmit/receive (T/R) modules are not compatible with membrane antenna technology due to their rigid packaging. The proposed effort will develop flexible T/R modules to meet this need. Specific NASA applications of a large-aperture space-based radar system include monitoring geophysical processes such as seismic activity, volcanism and glacial flow.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
In addition to NASA missions, large-aperture, electronically steerable, space-based radar arrays are required for a number DoD applications as well where greater resolution and real-time data are desired. Non-government applications of the technology are vast and range from electronic textile products to flexible displays and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.