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Hybrid MEM-Enabled Ka-Band Phased Array Antenna

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-13-C-1587
Agency Tracking Number: F11B-T28-0300
Amount: $749,637.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF11-BT28
Solicitation Number: 2011.B
Solicitation Year: 2011
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-09-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2015-12-11
Small Business Information
2815 Junipero Ave #110
Signal Hill, CA -
United States
DUNS: 003049793
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Daniel Hyman
 (562) 743-6090
Business Contact
 Daniel Hyman
Title: President
Phone: (562) 743-6090
Research Institution
 Ohio State University
 Kubilay Sertel
ElectroScience Laboratory 1320 Kinnear Rd.
Columbus, OH 43212-
United States

 (614) 688-5822
 Nonprofit College or University

ABSTRACT: XCOM Wireless is an RF MEMS developer focusing on products for Defense prime contractors and the commercial test and instrumentation communities. The Ohio State University is committed to the modeling, optimization, and characterization of RF circuits, meta-materials, and novel antenna arrays. In this program, XCOM and OSU team up to develop phased array antennas based on OSU's tightly-coupled broadband arrays, with beam steering performed by piezoelectric MEMS circuits being commercialized under a U.S. Army CRADA. In Phase I, the team scaled existing phase shifter and array architectures to the 24.5-27 GHz band to meet program requirements, and test structures were fabricated. No incompatibilities of bandwidth, reliability, lifetime, size, or performance were found, and manufacturing constraints have already been folded back into design. In the Phase II effort, the K-band phased array will be prototyped, tested, and iterated, and a commercially attractive version spanning Ku and Ka bands will be developed and prototyped to meet the prime UAV EW and radar developer needs. These are critical technologies to support, as miniaturized phased arrays can lead to the rapid proliferation of low-cost government and commercial radar, EW, and communications systems with higher performance, smaller size, and reduced power consumption. BENEFIT: The electronically steerable antenna subsystems developed in this program will be used in UAV Electronic Warfare sensor systems, pre-shot sniper detection radar systems, communications test sets, and SATCOM systems. The direct benefits to the Department of Defense from supporting this effort include the rapid advancement of a low-cost phased array antenna that will greatly increase the EW and pre-shot sniper detection capabilities of UAVs and other platforms. When used in an EW sensor, for example, this subsystem could alert operators when their UAV is targeted by the handheld commercial radar systems now being used by asymmetric combatants and criminal entities. The system will provide slew-to-cue direction commands compatible with nearly all present camera and weapon systems deployed on UAVs and uUAVs today, at a target cost of only $10k. Laboratory testing of small-form electronically steered antenna subsystems at Ku, K, and Ka bands will be completed within the timeline of the Phase II effort, with system-equivalent testing to TRL and MRL 5. Environment-equivalent range testing can be completed within 1 year to TRL and MRL 6-7. Phase III field testing and qualified production can begin within two years after Phase II. Additional future benefits will be realized down-stream using these technologies in reconfigurable radar, EW, and communication systems with forward-compatible architectures and software-defined waveforms and signal processing. These technologies accomplish power savings while improving data link quality, security, and EW resilience for our warfighters at reduced cost and component count. The greatest potential commercial benefits are substantial energy savings in cellular infrastructure, reducing carbon footprint. An estimated 10 million tons of CO2 can be eliminated within 5 years of the completion of Phase II if adopted by a single major carrier. Total addressable markets in 2015 for these technologies are projected at $1.4 billion across Government and civilian applications. This program leverages internal XCOM development and government partnerships, enabling a small STTR investment to achieve a high return on investment in terms of rapid and relevant prototype hardware development and field testing.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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