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Integrated microplasmas for rapidly-tunable microwave switches and antennas

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-21-C-0079
Agency Tracking Number: N202-143-0218
Amount: $139,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N202-143
Solicitation Number: 20.2
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-10-13
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-04-13
Small Business Information
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1111
United States
DUNS: 073800062
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Alan Hoskinson
 (978) 738-8138
Business Contact
 B. David Green
Phone: (978) 689-0003
Research Institution

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes the design and development of plasma-tunable switches and antennas, all fabricated directly on conventional microwave substrates.  The switch will be operable over the full S band.  The antenna center frequency will be tunable over the same frequency range, and both devices will support operation at up to 100 W of power.  The plasma tuning elements are based on the novel application of highly-conductive, rapidly-switchable microwave-driven plasma discharges.  These plasmas act as adjustable capacitors, enabling tuning across broad frequency ranges.  Expected switching / tuning speeds will exceed electromechanical devices by approximately three orders of magnitude, while expected power handling capabilities will exceed that of typical semiconductor-based components by two orders of magnitude.  The combination of the best characteristics of electro-mechanical and semiconductor switching and tuning approaches will allow these devices to occupy a unique and critical space in the microwave communications market.  During the Phase I effort, PSI will perform careful measurements of plasma impedance under various operating conditions, which will in turn inform detailed switch and antenna circuit designs.  These designs will be fabricated and evaluated during the Phase I base program.  The Phase I Option and Phase II efforts will advance the designs to the full operating power and tailor them to specific Navy system requirements.

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

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