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V-band Transmit Phased Array for SATCOM Downlinks



OBJECTIVE: Develop innovative wafer-scale antenna and front-end components for a multi-element transmit phased array for future high-power V-band SATCOM downlinks. 

DESCRIPTION: Future military SATCOM concepts include V-band (71-76 GHz) downlinks and W-band (81-86 GHz) uplinks to support next-generation high-data-rate communications systems. These systems will extend to new SATCOM frequency spectrums to address frequency crowding at lower frequencies. Additionally, currently demonstrated array front-end components at V-band have relatively low output power. Further, while single-point RF power sources with gimbaled antennas address a potential V-band transmitter architecture, phased array architectures are also viable for these satellite communications concepts. This Phase I SBIR focuses on defining advanced architecture and performance goals for a communications V-band downlink transmit phased array, designing wafer-scale antenna and front-end components, and defining a proof-of-concept multi-element demonstration vehicle. At a minimum, the array components/functions should include power amplification and beam steering. Due to high atmospheric propagation at these frequencies, EIRP >100 watts and per element power output >400 mW should be considered. However, thermal management feasibility should be evaluated. Further, ± 9 degree scanning angles and 0.1 degree 3-dB-beamwidths should be included in the phased array architecture definition. Operating environment goals include a temperature range of -40 degrees to +85 degrees Celsius. The selected solid-state technologies should also support reliable space operation and operation in radiation environments. Radiation hardening goals include greater than 1 Mrad total dose radiation tolerance. 

PHASE I: Definition of the V-band phased array architecture and performance goals, definition of a multi-element demonstration vehicle, and the design of required antenna and front-end components. 

PHASE II: Development and demonstration of the wafer-scale antenna and front-end components, as well as the multi-element V-band transmit phased array designed in Phase I. 

PHASE III: Military: Military millimeter-wave phased array applications include V-band satellite communications downlink electronics for future high-data-rate communications systems. Commercial: Commercial V-band phased array applications potentially include commercial satellite communications services. Technologies under this effort will further benefit applications in nearby frequency bands. 


1. S. Zihir, et al., A 60 GHz 64-element Phased-Array Beam-Pointing Communication System for 5G 100 Meter Links up to 2 Gbps, 2016 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium.; 2. K. Tsukashima, et al., An E-band 1 W-class PHEMT Power Amplifier MMIC, Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference Digest, 2015 10th European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference.; 3. A. Brown, et al., High Power, High Efficiency E-Band GaN Amplifier MMICs, Wireless Information and Systems Digest, 2012 IEEE International Conference on Wireless Information Technology and Systems.; 4. . Shahramian ; M. J. Holyoak ; Yves Baeyens, A 16-Element W-Band Phased-Array Transceiver Chipset With Flip-Chip PCB Integrated Antennas for Multi-Gigabit Wireless Data Links, IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 2018

KEYWORDS: E-band, V-band, Phased Arrays, Satellite Communications 

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