Superconductor SQIF Amplifier for Wideband SIGINT Receivers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-09-M-1571
Agency Tracking Number: F083-154-1960
Amount: $99,904.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-154
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
175 Clearbrook Road, Elmsford, NY, 10523
DUNS: 103734869
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Steven Kaplan
 Senior Member of the Tech. Staff
 (914) 592-1190
Business Contact
 Edward Kulinski
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (914) 592-1190
Research Institution
The detection and identification of very low-level electromagnetic waveforms for Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) relies on receiver systems with very low noise figure and high dynamic range. This task becomes even more challenging when the signal sources of interest are wideband and/or when they rely on spread-spectrum, frequency-hopping or other digital signal-processing techniques for signal security. We propose to develop the Superconducting Quantum Interference Filter (SQIF) into a wideband ultra-linear low-noise amplifier to intercept and help identify these signals. The operation of Niobium SQIF amplifiers at a temperature of 4 Kelvin inherently enables very low noise temperatures. The SQIF amplifier is expected to dissipate only microwatts of power, enabling relatively low-power cryocoolers to be used. New designs and techniques are required to develop the spur-free dynamic range and wide bandwidth that will make them useful to near-future SIGINT receivers. BENEFIT: This development, if successful, will enable the detection and identification of low-probability-of-intercept and other small signals of interest that would otherwise be unable to detect. Our amplifier will have very low noise, a target bandwidth of DC to greater than 18 GHz, and a large spur-free dynamic range. This technology can be used for other applications, such as deep-space communications for unmanned NASA vehicles, wireless communications. The amplifier itself will consume only microwatts of power, which is orders of magnitude less than semiconductor amplifiers. In addition, it is compatible with Niobium superconductor mixed-signal and other superconductor digital circuits, which can be operated with low power dissipation on the same 4-Kelvin platform.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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