3D Microfabricated Low Loss Reconfigurable Components
Typical communication satellites use traditional waveguide front-end architectures due to excellent electrical performance and high reliability. However, these systems are extremely massive and use large volume mostly due to the low-insertion loss waveguide. Replacement of the waveguide components by microfabricated parts without substantially affecting the electrical performance can lead to a breakthrough in wireless communications.
The overall goal of the proposed SBIR project is to develop low-cost, reliable, miniaturized RF MEMS switch components suitable for a variety of communication subsystems. Two approaches will be investigated. The first approach will be looking at monolithically integrating RF MEMS switches within the PolyStrataTM technology, developed at Nuvotronics in Blacksburg, VA as part of the DARPA 3DMERFS program. This approach should enable disruptive low-loss and high-Q RF components from S-band up to W-band. The second approach will rely on state of the art known good RF switches to be assembled on the low loss PolyStrata backplane. This second approach will provide lower loss, higher density and higher power handling than the current RF MEMS components. The proposed technology can be applied to multiple operating frequencies at a minimum cost due to the batch capability of the PolyStrata process.
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