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Low cost Diplexer for High performance phased array antenna


OBJECTIVE: Develop low cost, low insertion loss, high isolation, and small form factor diplexer technology to enable full duplex transmit/receive systems for SGLS/USB-Bands operation. DESCRIPTION: A low-cost phased-array antenna is capable of improving commercial and military satellite control network performance and reducing acquisition, maintenance, and operational cost. Transmit/Receive (T/R) modules for S-Band multi-beam Geodesic Dome Phased-Array Antenna (GDPAA) have been manufactured for nearly a decade for satellite communication systems. Currently, the T/R module implementation approach is based on the hybrid assembly technique that includes two ceramic resonator-based diplexers for proper isolation between the transmitter and receiver. These diplexers are utilized in the module to allow full-duplex with multiple simultaneous communication links which presents a significant technical challenge as the size of the T/R module is reduced. These diplexers employ surface mount technology where the receiver function operates at S-Band across 2.2-2.3 GHz and the transmit function has two channels that operate at the Unified S-Band (USB) and the Space Ground Link System (SGLS) Band, respectively. Other critical parameters for the diplexers are: (1) rejection between transmit and receive bands should exceed 65 dB; (2) power handling of 2-Watts minimum, (3) low insertion loss of less than 1 dB, and (4) small form factor for interfacing with a single IC T/R chipset. The diplexer will operate in a ground based environment. A description of the state of the art for performance and form factor is given in Ref. 2"Unbalanced to balanced and balanced to unbalanced diplexer". Presently the T/R function is being developed as a Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC), which will reduce the overall module size, component count, and ultimately lead to cost reduction. Thus improving the diplexer technology will be a key factor to enable overall size and cost reduction of the T/R module. This solicitation seeks innovative techniques to enable very small size and low insertion loss diplexers that can be manufactured in an appropriate technology and mass produced with cost being a key driver. The contractors are encouraged to explore emerging technologies and innovative topologies that will dramatically reduce component size and cost while simultaneously improving performance. Technologies that utilize soft substrates with metal backing, low temperature co-fired ceramic, or multilayer ceramics may be explored. A preliminary design identifying the technology with a detailed plan to implement the diplexer is required. In addition, a detailed cost analysis for large quantity production is also required deliverables. No government materials, equipment, data or facilities are required to be used on this effort. PHASE I: Develop the concept for low insertion loss, low cost, and high isolation diplexer for L/S-Band operation. Fabrication technologies will be evaluated to realize the high performance diplexer to enable CSWAP optimization of the transmit/receive module. PHASE II: Demonstrate the novel L/S-Band diplexer technology by design, fabrication, and characterization of the diplexer component. PHASE III: Military Application: Integrate the diplexer into a T/R module for system demonstration. Commercial Application: Commercial applications may be in the area of satellite communication systems. REFERENCES: 1. Sarjit Bharj, Boris Tomasic, Gary Scalzi, John Turtle and Shiang Liu,"A Full-Duplex, Multi-Channel Transmit/Receive Module for an S-Band Satellite Communications Phased Array", IEEE 2010 International Symposium on Phased Array Systems and Technology, 14-18 October 2010. 2. Xue, Q., Shi, J. and Chen, J. X.,"Unbalanced to balanced and balanced to unbalanced Diplexer", IEEE MTTT, Nov 2011. 3. Liu, S.F.,"A Preliminary AFSCN System Concept Using Phased Array Antenna,"May 1998. 4. Tomasic, B., Analysis and Design Trade-Offs of Candidate Phased Array Architectures for AFSCN Application, Presentation to the Second AFSCN Phased Array Antenna Workshop, Hanscom AFB, April 1998.
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