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Thermal Management of V-band Transmit Arrays


TECH FOCUS AREAS: Network Command, Control and Communications; General Warfighting Requirements (GWR) TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Space Platform OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate thermal management techniques for a V-band multi-element transmit subarray. The developed subarray should address wafer-scale antennas and front-end components for high-power 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. 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. Currently demonstrated array front-end components at V-band have relatively low output power. As higher transmit array power is demonstrated utilizing high-power density, high-power dissipation power transistor technologies and within the size constraints of array elements, greater thermal management challenges result. This Phase I SBIR focuses on the definition of a thermal management approach for an overall V-band downlink transmit array architecture, as well as the wafer-scale antennas and front-end components for a Phase II 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 attenuation at these frequencies, EIRP >75 dBW and per element power output >400 mW should be considered for the full transmit array architecture. Operating environment goals include a temperature range of -40 degrees to +85 degrees Celsius. PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study to determine thermal management and V-band phased array architecture definition, including the definition of the multi-element demonstration vehicle for Phase II. PHASE II: Development of the thermally-managed wafer-scale antenna and front-end components in a multi-element V-band transmit subarray demonstrator. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: 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. NOTE: The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the proposed tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the Announcement and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the Air Force SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Kris Croake, REFERENCES: 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. S. 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.
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