High Performance Ka-band Phase Shifters for Space Telecommunications

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX08CD55P
Agency Tracking Number: 070144
Amount: $99,635.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: T4.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
3000 Custer Road, Suite 270-400, Plano, TX, 75075-4427
DUNS: 088468702
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Chuck Goldsmith
 Principal Investigator
 (214) 552-7055
Business Contact
 Charles Goldsmith
Title: President
Phone: (214) 552-7055
Email: cgoldsmith@memtronics.com
Research Institution
 Lehigh University
 Not Available
 5 East Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA, 18015
 (610) 758-5104
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
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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