NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Advanced Flexible Electronics and Nanosensors
PROPOSAL TITLE:Fabrication of Radar Array Antennas Using Large-Area, High-Resolution Lithography-on-Flex

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Anvik Corporation
6 Skyline Dr
Hawthorne ,NY 10532 - 2165
(914) 345 - 2442

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Marc   Klosner
Anvik Corporation, 6 Skyline Drive
Hawthorne, NY  10532 -2165
(914) 345 - 2442

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
As the important role of NASA "missions to earth" has been clearly demonstrated in recent years, the need for radar antenna systems that have large fields of coverage has gained increased emphasis. In order to achieve the desired performance from space, the antenna systems must have surface areas that are hundreds of square meters in size. However, to make it affordable to deploy such large-area antennas into space, it is necessary to fabricate these antennas on flexible substrates, which are lightweight, and can be rolled into small volumes. The fabrication of flexible antennas calls for new manufacturing techniques that are capable of addressing the challenges of patterning high-resolution features on very-large area flexible substrates, while achieving precise registration of the antenna features over the entire substrate area. In this Phase II proposal we will develop and demonstrate processes to fabricate large-area antennas on flexible substrates, focusing, in particular, on JPL's 2 x 3 m active membrane phased array radar; and we will fabricate the flexible panels required for JPL's antenna. The fabrication of the array antenna will be performed using Anvik's novel large-area roll-to-roll photolithography technology, which enables high-resolution and micron-level registration on large-area flexible substrates.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Large-area antennas offer the potential for highly sensitive and highly directional terrain mapping, and thus are essential for providing information for scientific use. For example, electronically steerable phased arrays provide the capability to detect surface and subsurface topology including ice or features hidden by surface dust, and are thus attractive for a variety of NASA earth sensing missions, as well as missions to other planets and moons within our solar system. The very-large area flexible substrate patterning technology developed for this program will also be highly attractive for many other NASA programs. For example, solar sails and gossamer spacecraft will use ultra-thin flexible substrates with integrated electronics, communications, and power systems. Additionally, sensor skins consisting of arrays of sensors will need to be applied conformally to very-large area structures, such as aircraft wings and buildings, requiring the fabrication of electronics and MEMS on flexible materials. The NASA balloon program, which uses large-area flexible substrates for exploration of earth's atmosphere would also benefit through the integration of electronics and sensors into the ultra-thin balloon material.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are numerous applications for Anvik's flexible antenna fabrication technology in both the commercial and military sectors. For example, soldiers in the field would greatly benefit from flexible antennas due to their light weight and convenient portability, thus reducing the burden they must carry. Additionally, Anvik's lithography-on-flex technology can be used to manufacture frequency selective surfaces (FSS), which consist of repeating arrays of features that selectively absorb or transmit electromagnetic energy, typically at microwave frequencies. Fabricated on large sheets of flexible material, FSS can be applied to ships, for example, to improve their stealth capability; or may be used in commercial or military aircraft, in conjunction with conformable antennas, to serve as radomes, while optimizing aerodynamic performance. As another example, large-area flexible displays have enormous military and commercial applications. For the military, they will provide a reduction in the load a soldier must carry, while reducing the power levels needed for operation. In commercial applications, they will find widespread use in home entertainment, as well as in cell phones and automobiles. Additionally, manufacturing technology for flexible electronics is essential for the enormous mobile electronics market, where lightweight and conformability are key factors that determine the success of a product.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52