Radiation-Hardened, Analog-to-Digital Converter with High-Bit Precision

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-12-C-0112
Agency Tracking Number: F103-092-0056
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-092
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2012
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2012-07-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
3580 West Ina Rd, Tucson, AZ, -
DUNS: 157955597
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Esko Mikkola
 Principal Investigator
 (520) 742-3300
Business Contact
 Doug Goodman
Title: CEO
Phone: (520) 742-3300
Email: dgoodman@ridgetopgroup.com
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: In Phase II, Ridgetop Group will develop a high-performance radiation-hardened ADC suitable for use in satellite communication (SATCOM) systems where radiation exposure would otherwise degrade performance. This proposal responds to Air Force topic AF103-092, with the objective of designing a radiation-hardened, high speed (2 GSPS) analog-to-digital data converter (ADC) with high bit precision for use in low bit error rate (BER) 16-quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) demodulator applications. The significance of this innovation is that high speed and high performance communication systems, incorporating QAM demodulator subsystems, require digitization with extremely high linearity and dynamic range to achieve system performance targets. With the added requirement of radiation hardness, the ADC is a critical chokepoint that must meet demanding standards. Accordingly, Ridgetop"s ADC will be highly linear with an INL and DNL of no more than 0.5 LSB, a flat gain of<0.1 dB, a channel-to-channel isolation of>80 dB, an operating temperature range of at least -40 to 80 degrees C, a very high effective number of bits (ENOB) of 11, and a TID tolerance better than 300 krad(Si). The proposed ADC can be used as an integral part of Air Force"s SATCOM low BER, 16 QAM demodulator applications. Ridgetop"s ADC is much more suitable for this purpose than currently commercially available ADCs due to its high radiation hardness and significant performance improvement compared to the radiation-hardened ADCs that are commercially available. BENEFIT: Precision data converters are critical to the performance of high-speed digital signal processing (DSP) systems. The sampling rate and resolution of the converters define the performance aspects of the entire system. Because of its aggressive 2 GSPS sampling rate, high ENOB (11 bits), and low power dissipation (720 mW), this ADC overcomes a significant barrier to higher performance communications systems. Ridgetop"s innovative time-interleaved silicon germanium (SiGe)-based ADC will improve the resolution, linearity, power consumption and radiation hardness of current state-of-the art ADCs used in advanced communication systems. As a modular, self-contained building block from a popular trusted foundry, this ADC will become an important library element in future system designs. High-performance ADCs are widely used in satellite communication systems, space-based radar applications, medical imaging devices, software-defined radio applications, linear power amplifiers, high-speed data acquisition applications, high-speed test and instrumentation equipment, and high-speed digital signal processing (DSP) systems.

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

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