High Performance Ka-band Phase Shifters for Space Telecommunications

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$99,635.00
Award Year:
2008
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX08CD55P
Award Id:
87899
Agency Tracking Number:
070144
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
3000 Custer Road, Suite 270-400, Plano, TX, 75075
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
088468702
Principal Investigator:
Chuck Goldsmith
Principal Investigator
(214) 552-7055
cgoldsmith@memtronics.com
Business Contact:
Charles Goldsmith
President
(214) 552-7055
Research Institute:
Lehigh University

5 East Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA, 18015 3181
(610) 758-5104
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
We propose a novel MEMS-based digital phase shifter targeted for Ka-band operation, but scalable down to X-band and up to W-band. This novel phase shifter will incorporate MEMtronics' state-of-the-art microencapsulated, capacitive MEMS switches to control phase. The envisioned phase shifter behaves much like a switched-line phase shifter with broadband matched impedance, but without sacrificing size normally needed to accommodate multiple signal paths. Many MEMS-based phase shifters have been created with good results utilizing a loaded line approach. While this technique works well for smaller bits, larger bits suffer from narrow bandwidths and a poor impedance match in one or both states. Additionally, cascading multiple bits results in a relatively long multi-bit phase shifter. As insertion loss is dominated by conductor loss, these long multi-bit phase shifters become rather lossy reducing advantages that MEMS-based phase shifters may offer. This proposed project seeks to overcome these limitations by maximize phase shift per unit length, while increasing bandwidth, to arrive at a low-loss Ka-band phase shifter with significant performance and size improvements over currently available technologies.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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