NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S1.03-9640
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Passive Microwave Technologies

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
NxGen Electronics, Inc.
9771 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite A
San Diego, CA 92124 - 1300
(858) 309-6610

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Donald Hashigawa
9771 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92124 - 1300
(858) 309-6610

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 2 to 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Emergence of Indium Phosphide IC's has made possible devices operating at frequencies up to 200GHZ and beyond. Building modules using these devices opens a goldmine of military and commercial applications. Systems integration of these devices into affordable and reliable modules has been a challenge due to costs associated with assembly requirements. Research into: placement precision requirements, material selection and cost, assembly processes, and automation are the subjects of this proposal. Because of its capabilities, NxGen Electronics is uniquely qualified to perform this research.

Since 2003 JPL has been developing Miniature MMIC low power Radiometers for GeoSTAR and PATH Missions. Current weather and surface observational satellites employ both infrared (IR) and microwave (MW) atmospheric sounders. Since clouds are almost completely opaque at infrared wavelengths, sounds require cloud free observation. POES satellites provide coverage but provide coverage in relatively narrow swaths, and with revisit time of 12-24 hours. GeoSTAR offers the possibility of MW temperature and water vapor soundings as well as rain mapping from GEO. The results of this SBIR research will be a direct benefit to these programs by using their requirements as a focus for the study, and provide the groundwork for broader support for the commercialization process.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
For years NASA/JPL and NOAA have been engaged in providing weather forecasting data to the meteorological community. Current systems are lacking in terms of real time, continuous measurements of temperature and water vapor. As recent Hurricane events have demonstrated, this data would be crucial to minimize dangers and damage from such events. Another important project involves research into how global precipitation, evaporation, and cycling of water changes. Together the GeoSTAR and PATH projects have developed instruments to support this need based on 90 GHz MMIC technologies. Satellite deployable designs will require assembling large arrays of 180GHz MMIC devices, which has proven to be costly and labor intensive. For the past two years NxGen has been a participant by providing many of the 90GHz modules. NxGen believes it can lead the research into assembling low cost MMIC module assemblies at 180 GHz which will benefit many future NASA/JPL designs.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non NASA applications for low cost MIMIC devices operating at frequencies above 60GHz are enormous. Traditionally microwave designers have used discrete devices at great expense and size penalties limiting their applicability. The emergence of Indium Phosphide heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBT's) has now made it possible to offer 60-100GHz system solutions at lower cost with unprecedented performance advantages. Missile Radar (smaller antennas), Telecommunications (competing with cable), and Collision Avoidance systems are but a few of the applications where operation at these high frequencies in a compact and low cost implementation would benefit. Two major obstacles needed to be overcome are cost of assemblies in large volume and substrate costs. NxGen Electronics believes that full implementation of the proposed SBIR would greatly enhance its abilities to compete for some of these applications.

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.

Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Attitude Determination and Control
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Integrated Robotic Concepts and Systems
Manned-Maneuvering Units
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56