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Direct Printing of 3D Structural RF Electronics

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-14-C-2421
Agency Tracking Number: F121-003-2041
Amount: $749,971.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF121-003
Solicitation Number: 2012.1
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-02-26
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-05-23
Small Business Information
12151 Research Pkwy. Suite 150
Orlando, FL 32826
United States
DUNS: 000000000
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Kenneth Church
 Senior Research Scientist
 (407) 275-4720
Business Contact
 Beth Brownell
Title: Director of Operations
Phone: (407) 275-4720
Research Institution

ABSTRACT: Using the advantages of 3D printing, an antenna system wing structure will be printed. The antenna system will be a multi-layer electronic device with a number of antenna elements. The electronics will not be mounted to the wing structure, they will become part of the wing structure. This implies an impact to Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) for UAVs. The payload will become part of the wing structure allowing the rest of the UAV to be utilized for more fuel for longer flights. The electronic portion of this must operate in the RF regime and the success of Phase I demonstrated a numbering of working devices utilizing 3D printed materials and including ring resonators and multi-bit phase shifters. This is the first time a complex RF system will be printed utilizing 3D printing and Direct printing approach. This will enable UAVs but also enable a vast number of 3D RF products. BENEFIT: The anticipated benefits will be enhanced capabilities in smaller UAVs that could rival the large complex, expensive crafts. These small UAVs with printed phase array system wings will provide more intelligence and surveillance capabilities to a broader range of war fighters at less cost to the DoD. This will be a significant savings to the DoD when this is fully utilized and expanded beyond UAVs and into other electronic devices that are deployed. This will transition beyond the DoD and move to enable consumer electronic products. The complexity of this project is significant as compared to more simplistic but mass produced consumer electronics. Next generation consumer electronics will be customized, personalized and be enabled via 3D printing. The potential of manufacturing in the U.S. will become a reality when this matures.

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

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