NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 S1.03-8926
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Passive Microwave Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Microfabricated Low-Loss Microwave Switch Integration Technology

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nuvotronics, LLC
7586 Old Peppers Ferry Road
Radford, VA 24141 - 8846
(800) 341-2333

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ken Vanhille
kvanhille@nuvotronics.com
7586 Old Peppers Ferry Loop
Radford, VA 24141 - 8846
(540) 552-4610 Extension :3806

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 0
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Nuvotronics has developed and optimized the PolyStrataTM process for the fabrication of intricate microwave and millimeter-wave devices. These devices have primarily been rectangular coaxial transmission lines, although rectangular waveguide and other structures have also been demonstrated. Intricate devices have been demonstrated with insertion loss 5 to 10 times lower than traditional planar circuits; isolation better than 60dB for lines that share separating walls; multiple levels of densely-packed coaxial circuits; and low-parasitic attachment to active devices and traditional circuit boards. In this Phase I project, Nuvotronics will deseign microfabricated MEMs-based switches on the Polystrata platform. Nuvotronics will explore whether piezoelectric-based or magnetic-based actuation provides the best performance for millimeter-wave radiometry applications. The devices will have size and cost advantages, higher power handling capability, and lower loss than achievable with the commonly available wafer-based switches of today.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The initial application is for the Beyond Einstein Inflation Probe as part of the Physics of the Cosmos Program, but has additional applications in other future NASA decadal survey missions including Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystems (ACE), Snow and Cold Land Processes (SCLP), and Precipitation and All-Weather Temperature and Humidity (PATH). NASA satellite communications systems could also benefit from this technology in microwave switch matrix modules for efficiently multiplexing high data rate uplinks and downlinks such as in the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS). The MEMS switch integration technology will provide NASA additional capabilities at higher signal frequencies, allowing more effective use of RF hardware on board mission satellites.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
We anticipate high volume product opportunities for the MEMS switch integration technology within the DOD and non-Government commercial markets. For military communications, the benefits are higher bandwidth, multipoint links, and low payload weight for planes, missiles, tanks, and soldiers. Microwave Switch Matrix (MSM) applications exist in automated test equipment and instrumentation. MSMs are widely used in microwave test setups and satellite communications systems.

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.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Architectures and Networks
Highly-Reconfigurable
Instrumentation
Microwave/Submillimeter
On-Board Computing and Data Management
RF


Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14