NASA STTR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 T5.01-9790
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: MEMS-Enabled Filters, Antennas, and Sensors
PROPOSAL TITLE: MEMS-Enabled Smart Reconfigurable Antennas

NAME: Virtual EM, Inc. NAME: Purdue University
STREET: 2019 Georgetown Blvd. STREET: 302 Wood Street, 7th Floor
CITY: Ann Arbor CITY: West Lafayette
STATE/ZIP: MI  48105 - 1532 STATE/ZIP: IN  47907 - 2040
PHONE: (734) 222-4558 PHONE: (765) 494-1066

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tayfun Ozdemir
2019 Georgetown Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105 - 1532
(734) 734-4558

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 6 to 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A prototype wearable smart reconfigurable antenna for the Suit will be built to be used during NASA's EVA operations on lunar surface. The design is based on the Self-Structuring Antenna (SSA) technology utilizing MEMS switches for configuration of the aperture. Electrothermally and electrostatically actuated MEMS were studied via modeling and experiments and electrostatically actuated switches were recommended for use in Phase II due to their low actuation power requirements. The proposed smart antenna offers both adaptive beam steering and MIMO options for increasing the signal to noise ratio (SNR) and extending range. The antenna provides enhanced RF link for surface-to-surface voice, data, and video communication while also supporting contingency voice communication with the Lunar Relay Satellites (LRS). The technology is expected to reach TRL of 6 at the end of Phase II.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed program envisions smart reconfigurable antennas based on Self-Structuring Antenna (SSA) enabled by RF MEMS switches. The SSA technology is compatible with MIMO and the Software Defined Radio (SDR), which NASA has already adopted for future missions. The SSA technology has immediate benefits for the communication with the Suit, which has to be mobile and light. SSA can be made wearable via its self-adapting capability and is a logical choice for the Suit. The technology can also be adopted for the rest of the EVA operations beginning with the rover and later extending to Lander and the Habitat.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Smart antennas are used in Defense communications and radar systems worldwide. However, the cost of these systems is high since the underlying technologies require large, power-hungry systems. The proposed SSA technology, along with its enabling MEMS switch technology, offers high performance-to-cost ratio and promises to reduce the cost of mobile communication antennas. SSA's low profile and self-healing features make it ideal for battlefield deployments where low-observability and survivability of the communication system is critical.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Manned-Maneuvering Units
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Simulation Modeling Environment
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Generated on 02-10-09 12:09