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Wideband,Lightweight, Beamformer

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
FIRST RF Corporation
CO Boulder, CO 80301-2312
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Wideband,Lightweight, Beamformer
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8750-09-C-0118
Award Amount: $744,377.00


Narrow beam electronically scanned phased array antennas play a vital role in many defense communications, radar and EW systems. However, because of the cost and complexity of the constituent components, as well as the typical array manufacturing processes, phased arrays still remain prohibitively expensive for all but the most vital applications. FIRST RF Corporation has recently developed a wideband (0.5 18 GHz) array architecture called the SMArT (Simple Manufacturable Array Technology) Card - which promises to dramatically overhaul the way phased arrays are produced. In order to achieve the true time delays (TTD) necessary for wideband array operation, FIRST RF has, through this program, researched and developed novel methods for incorporating MMIC-based TTD technology at the element level. This technology is a key enabler to the overall wideband manufacturable phased array. For even longer delays at the sub-array level, FIRST RF proposes a low-cost beamformer package which has recently gained the support of a Program of Record. The combination of FIRST RFs novel array architecture with the cutting edge research in lightweight and compact beamformer technology represents a high value program to US Air Force. BENEFIT: Traditional approaches to developing and manufacturing phased array antennas have not produced affordable solutions. For this reason, the production of phased array antennas and their application to advanced programs has been very limited. A dramatic change is necessary if phased arrays are ever to be widely applied across a wide range of military and commercial markets. The development of the SMArT Card with the proposed lightweight wideband beamformer represents a dramatic change and more importantly, a dramatic improvement in the method of building phased array antennas. The proposed beamformer technology is a key enabler for affordable phased array antennas for both military and commercial applications. The product categories affected by the proposed technology include SATCOM and Airborne Electronic Warfare (EW) markets. The United States Military has an urgent need to develop affordable technologies which support SATCOM on the move (OTM) and high power EW capabilities. A phased array antenna will provide the data rates and beam agility required by these products.

Principal Investigator:

Farzin Lalezari
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Theresa Boone
Chief Operating Officer
Small Business Information at Submission:

4865 Sterling Drive Boulder, CO 80301

EIN/Tax ID: 651165101
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No