NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Active Microwave
PROPOSAL TITLE:Flexible T/R Modules for Large-Aperture, Space-Based SAR

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, 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
200 Turnpike Road
Chelmsford, MA  01824 -4000
(978) 606 - 2601

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
There is a need for electronically-steerable, space-deployable SAR antenna arrays which impose minimal weight burden on the vehicles that place them into orbit. SAR arrays may be several tens to hundreds of meters long in at least one dimension, necessitating their assembly from many smaller subarrays. However, suitable technologies for manufacturing T/R modules directly on even these smaller (albeit still large-area), flexible subarrays have been lacking, hindering development of space-based arrays. SI2 Technologies' innovation is to apply its Direct Write techniques to fabricating flexible T/R modules that can be integrated with each array element. The novelty of SI2's Direct Write manufacturing approach is that no tooling, masks, or harsh etchants are required. SI2's "printing" technology lends itself to any number of applications that require flexible antenna systems (e.g., earth science, military asset tracking, civilian communications, etc.). For the proposed Phase II program, SI2 will design and fabricate chipless T/R modules for a membrane SAR antenna array using Direct Write manufacturing processes.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential NASA applications of the proposed technology include flexible T/R modules for lightweight, large-aperture, electronically-steerable, space-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems for Earth monitoring applications. Such a large aperture phased array will enable measurement and monitoring of a number of geophysical processes that is not possible today. For instance, an L-band SAR would be capable of measuring soil moisture, ocean circulation, and glacial flow under a number of conditions with fine resolution and minimal temporal effects.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA applications of this technology include the development of flexible and conformal T/R modules for military applications such as unmanned aerial vehicles. This technology could enable the integration of a number of RF systems into the structure of the aircraft itself, thereby decreasing the weight of the system and increasing the endurance and performance of the vehicle. SI2 Technologies has been very active and successful in pursuing these applications with funding from the Air Force and DARPA. Other applications include conformal/wearable electronics, flexible displays (e.g., for personal data assistants, cell phones, etc.), and radio frequency identification device (RFID) tags.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52