NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 13.08-1411

PROJECT TITLE: Flexible, High Bandwith Phased-array Antenna

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

NASA is interested in fielding a sophisticated spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for a variety of imaging missions, but historically such systems have proven unaffordable due largely to radar instrument cost, system mass and volume, and associated launch costs. ITN believes that producing a lightweight, cost-effective SAR requires revolutionary approaches and, therefore, we propose a totally new SAR concept, consisting of a flexible antenna blanket with intrinsic structure, thermal control, power and RF distribution functionality. This Multifunctional Structure offers an elegant solution for SAR missions. As with all new ideas, this concept presents an element of technical risk; however, this risk is offset by its high payoff, making our concept perfectly suited for investigation under NASA"s SBIR program.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

As a technology commercialization company, ITN"s mission is to take its new developments to production, whether production is at ITN or by a technology licensee. The focus of this SBIR is developing an MFS blanket specifically for SAR. For an MFS-based SAR system, ITN envisions fabricating the 5 m x 1 m MFS substrates in-house. Our SBIR partner, GE CR&D, would manufacture populated flex-circuits. Due to the high-value of the MCM flex-circuits, GE CR&D would probably integrate the flex-circuits onto the composite substrates, then deliver the integrated subarrays to the spacecraft system prime contractor. This concept also has significant potential for commercial communications satellites (ComSat). Many future ComSat designs are considering phased-array antennas, and mass and volume savings can be directly related to increased payload and revenue stream.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Robert R. Hanson
ITN Energy systems, Inc.
12401 West 49th Avenue
Wheat Ridge , CO 80033

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

ITN Energy Systems, Inc.
12401 West 49th Avenue
Wheat Ridge , CO 80033