Group III-Nitride LNAs for Microwave Radiometry

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX11CF28P
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
104508
Solicitation Year:
2010
Solicitation Topic Code:
S1.03
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
MN, Minneapolis, MN, 55406-1575
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
832797158
Principal Investigator:
Jody Klaassen
Principal Investigator
(612) 226-1249
jklaassen@alum.mit.edu
Business Contact:
Jody Klaassen
Business Official
(612) 226-1249
jklaassen@alum.mit.edu
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
This phase I proposal addresses the need for microwave and millimeter wave Low Noise Amplifiers (LNAs) for remote sensing applications of the earth's atmosphere. In this work, IIIAN proposes using group III-nitride materials, specifically AlGaN/GaN HEMT structures, to fabricate LNAs for microwave radiometers operating from 165 GHz up to 270 GHz. The group III-nitrides have excellent physical properties for high frequency transistors with the added benefit that the high breakdown voltage of the material renders them less susceptible to failure due to spurious strong signals, eliminating the need for protective circuitry between the antenna and the LNA.Passive microwave radiometers used in the PATH and GACM missions are used to quantify levels of trace species in the atmosphere such as O3, CO, N2O, HNO3, ClO and SO2, and also to estimate water content, both gas phase and as aerosols. The instruments used for these measurements rely on microwave emission from the relevant species. Key to such low signal level measurements are front-end LNAs used to amplify the weak microwave emission signal from the antenna prior to the RF detection diode.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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