NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-2 S4.04-9709
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Extreme Environments Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Radiation-Hardening of Best-In-Class SiGe Mixed-Signal and RF Electronics for Ultra-Wide Temperature Range

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
CFD Research Corporation
701 McMillian Way Northwest, Suite D
Huntsville, AL 35806 - 2923
(256) 726-4800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ashok Raman
701 McMillian Way NW, Suite D
Huntsville, AL 35806 - 2923
(256) 726-4800

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Silvia Harvey
701 McMillian Way NW, Suite D
Huntsville, AL 35806 - 2923
(256) 726-4858

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Extreme Environments Technology is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Innovative, reliable, low-power, and low-noise electronics that can operate over a wide temperature range and high radiation are critical for future NASA missions. Silicon Germanium (SiGe) is a robust IC technology with superior electronic properties, resilience to harsh environments, and moderate cost of Si fabrication that can dramatically reduce mission size-weight-and-power and cost (SWaP-C). IBM's 90-nm state-of-the-art 9HP SiGe BiCMOS platform delivers higher performance and lower power, and enables highly integrated (sub-) millimeter wave applications not possible with earlier SiGe nodes. It is therefore, a prime candidate for designing future mixed-signal/RF electronics for NASA. Currently, however, there are few wide-temperature/radiation data, models, and circuits in this platform. Advanced computational tools are essential to support design and assess performance of 9HP-based electronics.
This project aims to develop novel Radiation Hardened By Design (RHBD) analog/mixed-signal and RF ICs in the best-in-class 9HP technology. In Phase I, CFDRC and Georgia Tech investigated the electrical performance of 9HP SiGe HBTs across an ultra-wide temperature range. HBT-based circuits were examined for single-event transient (SET) response via irradiation testing and detailed mixed-mode simulations. RHBD techniques were identified for further evaluation. In Phase II, we will select representative 9HP-based circuits from high-frequency and general purpose (low-frequency analog/mixed-signal) applications, and perform electrical and radiation response characterization (DC and RF) across a wide temperature range, via testing and mixed-mode modeling. RHBD techniques will be implemented and verified via modeling, and promising designs will be fabricated, tested, and delivered to NASA. Technology scaling effects on extreme environment performance of SiGe HBTs/circuits across different generations (9HP vs. 8HP vs. 5AM) will be evaluated to support design/trade-off analyses

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Radiation-hardened and wide-temperature mixed-signal/RF electronics development is aligned, per NASA OCT Technology Area TA08, with the major flight programs within the Planetary Science Division: Discovery 13/14, New Frontiers 4, Lunar Quest, Mars Exploration, Outer Planets Programs, and Europa Jupiter System Mission. Components based on state-of-the-art, 90-nm SiGe technology will help reduce the volume, mass, and power requirements of instrument electronics, essential to maximizing the science return for future missions. Electronics capable of operating in extreme environments will enable science missions currently thought to be impractical due to the requirement of bulky protective housing. Electronic parts are getting smaller with technology evolution and the radiation/temperature effects are becoming more severe. A robust physics-based capability to predict the behavior of electronic circuits increases mission confidence. Radiation-hardened and wide-temperature analog, mixed-signal, and RF circuits are essential for ALL avionic systems used in NASA exploration missions. The RHBD designs from this project will add to the NASA "components library" for extreme environment applications. The physics-based mixed-mode tools will help NASA better evaluate the wide-temperature performance and radiation response at an early stage, and design rad-hard low-temperature electronics with better understanding and control of design margins, thereby reducing the test time and cost.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Various critical analog, mixed-signal, and RF circuits are used in all space-based platforms, including DoD space systems (communication, surveillance, ballistic missiles, missile defense), and commercial satellites. Since modern electronics technologies and components are becoming increasingly sensitive to extreme environments, the capability to predict their behavior can dramatically increase mission confidence and reduce risk. The new RHBD designs and circuit/cell libraries, based on the best-in-class SiGe technology, offer reduced size-weight-and-power and cost (SWaP-C) to all aerospace applications. The physics-based computer aided design (CAD) tools can also be applied to cryogenic electronics for high-sensitivity, low-noise analog and mixed-signal applications, such as metrology, infrared (IR) imagers, sensors (radiation, optical, X-ray), radiometrology, precision instruments, radio and optical astronomy, infrared and photon detectors, and other high-end systems. For all such devices and systems, predictive and accurate modeling and design tools reduce the amount of required radiation/temperature testing, thus decreasing their cost, and time to market or field application.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Simulation & Modeling
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)
Verification/Validation Tools

Form Generated on 04-14-15 17:14