X-Band and Ka Band Low Noise Block Downconverter

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-12-C-1355
Agency Tracking Number: F103-178-0213
Amount: $749,881.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-178
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Small Business Information
1 Park Drive, Unit 12, Westford, MA, -
DUNS: 625207472
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Blount
 (978) 467-4290
Business Contact
 Paul Blount
Title: President
Phone: (978) 467-4290
Email: paulb@custommmic.com
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: We propose three distinct innovations which are key to achieving a drastic reduction of cost of a block downconverter, while simultaneously improving the overall performance. The use of GaN devices will allow exceptionally high performing MMICs to be developed which will reduce the system noise figure and raise the system linearity. These two effects will greatly increase the dynamic range of the receiver. The use of GaN devices will at present be costly due to the immaturity of the process. Therefore we propose to use a newly emerging technology to utilize the performance of the GaN devices at a fraction of the cost. The development of the IPD process will revolutionize the use of GaN devices in microwave and millimeter wave (MMW) systems. A third innovation will be the demonstration of a new mixer topology which will have exceptional spur performance and allow a drastic reduction in the complexity of the system architecture. This development alone could reduce the overall cost of the block converter by $3,000 to $5,000. We have developed relationships with a major block converter supplier and they have provided us with a letter of intent to assist us with the commercialization of the products derived. BENEFIT: We have approached a key manufacturer of block converter products to assist us with the commercialization of these products. Millitech Corporation has been giving us insights into the problems experienced by block converter vendors throughout the phase 1 program. They have become extremely interested in our efforts and are eager to see the proposed products be developed for inclusion into their systems. They have provided CMDS with a letter of intent to work with us and assist us in the commercialization of these systems. It should also be noted that all radio systems are subject to the current limitations of the individual components that are currently available in the market place. The creation of new ultra-linear, low spurious converters will be directly applicable to a number of other markets. We will actively pursue these markets with the new products. These will include point to point radios (for use in cellular backhaul systems), pico-cell systems, and other SATCOM radio systems. The LNA products will also be directly applicable to phased array receiver systems. The ability to eliminate an input limiter will once again be of high interest in these systems. The use of these LNAs will directly impact the system linearity and dynamic range. The IPD process will also allow us to innovate and create solutions that are likely 1/10 of the cost of competing vendors. Such a cost advantage will be a huge benefit to CMDS and will result in deployment of the technology much faster than anticipated if a purely GaN solution is created.

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

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