Metamaterial-based MEM ultra-low-loss non-dispersive phased-array antenna

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-12-M-1389
Agency Tracking Number: F11B-T28-0298
Amount: $99,736.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: AF11-BT28
Solicitation Number: 2011.B
Small Business Information
Technology and Communications Systems, Inc.
4025 Tampa Road, STE 1107A, Oldsmar, FL, 33321-
DUNS: 073495983
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Frank Vassallo
 (954) 234-7855
Business Contact
 Frank Vassallo
Title: President
Phone: (954) 234-7855
Research Institution
 University of South Florida
 Tom Weller
 4202 E. Fowler Avenue
Tampa, FL, 33620-3620
 (813) 215-6456
 Nonprofit college or university
ABSTRACT: The objective of this effort is to develop and demonstrate approaches for realizing metamaterial-based micro-electrometrical (MEM) ultra-low-loss non-dispersive phased array antennas for multifunction radar and communication systems in unmanned and micro air vehicles. A metamaterial based Ka-band unit cell will be designed and provide the foundation for a 4 bit phase shifter that will be integrated into a phased array antenna system of TECOMSYS design. Each unit cell will be capable of uniform performance between 24.5 GHz and 27 GHz with a phase shift of 45 +/- 5 degrees, have an insertion loss<1dB, return loss>20dB and power consumption<10 W. A compromise between reliability, DC power consumption and switching speed will be studied, with strategies developed to reduce the nominal speed of 10-20 S to the 5 S range. During Phase 2 this new phase shifter will be designed into a standard mechanical package, and be manufactured and qualified by our partners at Innovative Micro Technologies (IMT). Using the 4-bit phase shifter designed in Phase 1, a complete phased-array system will be prototyped and deployed on an unmanned airborne platform for use with existing and future MILSATCOM systems. BENEFIT: Successful development of the MEM Ka-band phase-shifter unit cell will allow a low loss, compact phased array antenna to be manufactured, reducing current phased array (or tracking system) footprints and allowing for robust deployment on micro UAV. Additionally, the basis of the research can be applied to an existing requirement for an airborne dual band (Ku/Ka) MILSATOM antenna for use on multiple platforms.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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