USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

High Performance Ka-band Phase Shifters for Space Telecommunications

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2008 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
MEMtronics Corporation
1301 N. Plano Road Richardson, TX -
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2008
Title: High Performance Ka-band Phase Shifters for Space Telecommunications
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX08CD55P
Award Amount: $99,635.00


We propose a novel MEMS-based digital phase shifter targeted for Ka-band operation, but scalable down to X-band and up to W-band. This novel phase shifter will incorporate MEMtronics' state-of-the-art microencapsulated, capacitive MEMS switches to control phase. The envisioned phase shifter behaves much like a switched-line phase shifter with broadband matched impedance, but without sacrificing size normally needed to accommodate multiple signal paths. Many MEMS-based phase shifters have been created with good results utilizing a loaded line approach. While this technique works well for smaller bits, larger bits suffer from narrow bandwidths and a poor impedance match in one or both states. Additionally, cascading multiple bits results in a relatively long multi-bit phase shifter. As insertion loss is dominated by conductor loss, these long multi-bit phase shifters become rather lossy reducing advantages that MEMS-based phase shifters may offer. This proposed project seeks to overcome these limitations by maximize phase shift per unit length, while increasing bandwidth, to arrive at a low-loss Ka-band phase shifter with significant performance and size improvements over currently available technologies.

Principal Investigator:

Chuck Goldsmith
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Charles L. Goldsmith
Small Business Information at Submission:

MEMtronics Corporation
3000 Custer Road, Suite 270-400 Plano, TX 75075

EIN/Tax ID: 752953681
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Lehigh University
5 East Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA 18015 3181
Contact Phone: (610) 758-5104
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university