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12 Phase I Selections from the 12.1 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
Alico Systems Inc
2461 W. 205th Street, STE B105
Torrance, CA 90501
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 781-9503
Ward Holdrege
SOCOM12-001      Awarded:4/23/2012
Title:Ka-band Spread Spectrum
Abstract:This proposal for a Ka-band Spread Spectrum terminal presents a unique affordable design approach for On-the-move satellite communications. Over the past 5 years Alico Systems has been involved in the design and development of low cost phased array antennas for the DoD. Our most recent product for the Army is based on a 2 dimensional affordable X-band broadband phased array design. For this Ka-band terminal we are proposing a one dimensional phased array antenna mounted on a turntable coupled to the iDirect e850mp spread spectrum modem to provide 5 Mbps uplink and 5 Mbps downlink capability. The proposed terminal will meet MIL-STD-810G Environmental, MIL-STD-461F EMI, and MIL- STD-1275D Vehicle Power requirements.

EMAG Technologies, Inc.
775 Technology Dr. Suite 300
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(734) 996-3624
jack Thiesen
SOCOM12-001      Awarded:4/23/2012
Title:Ka-band Spread Spectrum
Abstract:EMAG Technologies, Inc. (Ann Arbor, MI) is responding to a US Special Operations Command solicitation for a Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) certified Ka-Band antenna. The solicitation requests the development and integration of a WGS-certified, low-visibility, small-form-factor commercial and military capable Ka-band spread spectrum antenna (KSSA) including the software for the modem to support Ka Spread Spectrum. The material solution will be similar in size/configuration to the existing Ka-band spread spectrum antennas and will provide maximum flexibility based upon the medium (e.g., airborne, ground and/or maritime) and satellite architecture (e.g., commercial Ka, commercial Ka and/or DoD Ka) available to SOF to execute assigned missions. The proposed solution with utilize EMAG's novel Vertically Integrated Scalable Antenna Tile (VISAT) technology.

FIRST RF CORPORATION
5340 Airport Blvd.
Boulder, CO 80301
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 449-5211
P. Keith Kelly
SOCOM12-001      Awarded:4/27/2012
Title:Ka-band Spread Spectrum
Abstract:SATCOM On-The-Move (OTM) is one of the greatest operational and tactical advantages our troops have. The SATCOM terminals available pose a number of practical constraints resulting in less than universal usage. Traditional reflectors are high profile and difficult to integrate on aircraft and ground vehicles. The ability to maintain link during high-g maneuvers such as travelling over rough terrain or flying through turbulent air is a challenge for these terminals because they rely on mechanically pointing a large dish. Phased arrays are very expensive. An affordable, high gain antenna to close the link is a crucial part of the system. FIRST RF proposes an antenna/modem solution for Ku/Ka Band SATCOM OTM that solves the performance, size and cost problems associated with existing terminals. Our hybrid approach combines the beam agility of an electrically steered antenna with the cost targets of a mechanically steered antenna. Further, the proposed approach spatially integrates out the effects of platform motion on beam pointing ability. The aperture is fed by a novel wideband feed approach which is a key discriminator of this design. During Phase I, we will produce hardware supporting the proposed feed concept, thus eliminating risk and advancing the TRL.

Amethyst Research Incorporated
123 Case Circle
Ardmore, OK 73401
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(580) 229-7109
Ryan J. Cottier
SOCOM12-002      Awarded:6/15/2012
Title:Low Dark Current, Extended Wavelength SWIR Sensors Using Hydrogenated nBn InGaAs
Abstract:Improved performance SWIR sensors with extended wavelength response to 2.5 microns will be developed using two disruptive technologies with which Amethyst has demonstrated success: nBn detector structures and defect passivation via hydrogenation. Similar to conventional extended wavelength photodiodes, the improved sensors will based on mismatched InGaAs grown on graded buffer layers on InP substrates. Conventional photodiodes in mismatched InGaAs suffer performance degradation that is related to excess dark current related to defect processes. These photodiode structures will be replaced with nBn detector structures, which have been demonstrated to be very effective in suppression of defect processes in materials closely related to mismatched InGaAs. Additional suppression of defect-related dark current will be accomplished via defect-passivation of the mismatched InGaAs nBn materials. This work will build on recent studies by Amethyst, demonstrating hydrogenation-produced dark current suppression in mismatched InAs nBn devices. This recent success with hydrogenated mismatched nBn’s in InAs is directly relevant to the extended wavelength mismatched InGaAs nBn materials, which are 80% InAs. Order of magnitude dark current reduction is anticipated in extended wavelength sensors with high quantum efficiency operating between T=200K and room temperature.

EPIR Technologies Inc
590 Territorial Drive, Suite B
Bolingbrook, IL 60440
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(630) 771-0203
Jeremy Bergeson
SOCOM12-002      Awarded:6/13/2012
Title:Unipolar nBn HgCdTe on Silicon for High Performance, Low Cost NIR/SWIR Imagers
Abstract:We propose the development of a near infrared/shortwave infrared (NIR/SWIR) sensor based on mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe) in an n-type/barrier/n-type (nBn) architecture, designed for room-temperature operation in the 0.7 to 2.8 µm NIR/SWIR spectral range. The sensor will compete as a low cost/high performance alternative to near infrared indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs)-based cameras by providing reduced fabrication costs and an extended detection wavelength range. The detectors will be composed of n-type and undoped HgCdTe material, which simplifies the manufacturing and lowers costs by eliminating the complications associated with p-type doping. This Phase I proposed effort will fabricate a prototype nBn HgCdTe NIR/SWIR sensors on silicon substrates with room- temperature spectral response from the silicon absorption band edge (~1.1 µm) to 2.8 µm. In Phase II, the nBn devices will be incorporated in high-resolution FPAs, and, with substrate removal, have responsivity from 0.7 µm to 2.8 µm. In the nBn architecture, HgCdTe has tremendous potential for advanced NIR/SWIR imaging applications that can realize an “out- of-band” capability advantage over InGaAs detectors while maintaining cost competitiveness because of the simplified processing of nBn devices as well as the low cost and large format of Si substrates.

Voxtel Inc.
15985 NW Schendel Avenue Suite 200
Beaverton, OR 97006
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(971) 223-5646
David Schut
SOCOM12-002      Awarded:6/20/2012
Title:Ink Jet Printing of High Performance SWIR Imagers
Abstract:A full, wafer scale nanocrystal detector technology will be used to fabricate compact, light weight, low power, low cost short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) sensors. This approach is based on integration of inorganic nanocrystal films with large-format, small-pixel-pitch CMOS readout integrated circuits (ROICs). Using solution processing, the nanocrystal films can be printed directly onto ROICs, allowing high resolution (e.g. < 10 µm pitch) focal planes to be realized at low cost, without the need for indium bump bonding. In Phase I, a series of SWIR sensitive nanocrystals will be developed, optimized with inorganic ligands, and short wavelength infrared (SWIR) sensitive films will be analytically characterized. The films will be integrated with high resolution readout integrated circuits (ROICs) and the optical performance of fully-functional SWIR imagers will be demonstrated. In Phase II, the performance of the detectors will be optimized and large format, high pixel density imagers will be fabricated, field tested, and reliability tested.

Wavefront
7 Johnston Circle
BASKING RIDGE, NJ 07920
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(609) 558-4806
Jie Yao
SOCOM12-002      Awarded:6/14/2012
Title:Short-Wave-Infrared (SWIR) Night Glow Photon-Counting Integrated Circuit (PCIC) Focal Plane Array (FPA) Detectors and Night Vision Cameras
Abstract:Almost all intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms and all small agile munitions need high-sensitivity night vision imagers for situational awareness and for target identification, tracking and discrimination. The requirements of situational awareness, responsiveness and weapon precision are ever more stringent in current and future urban warfare, where minimum collateral damage is desired. Micro unmanned aerial vehicles (micro-UAV), for example, require precision guidance capability to maneuver in obstruction- rich and highly cluttered urban terrain for surveillance and engagement of fixed and mobile targets. Soldiers need an infrared out-of-band night vision advantage on today's asymmetric battlefield. We need to regain the night in today's theaters. Night glow in the short-wave infrared band spanning 1,100nm, 1,300nm and 1,500 – 1,700nm is a consistent natural source of illumination under almost all weather conditions. Currently, even the most sensitive tactical InGaAs SWIR camera may not be sensitive enough to fully take advantage of the SWIR night glow for night vision. The proposed Photon-Counting Integrated Circuit (PCIC) offers higher sensitivity and lower noise, leading to significantly enhanced signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) to enable SWIR night vision at or near ambient temperature with mega-pixel resolution and human video frame rate for soldiers, micro-UAVs and other agile and mobile platforms.

Nu-Trek
16955 Via Del Campo Suite 250
San Diego, CA 92127
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(858) 487-2172
Jim Asbrock
SOCOM12-003      Awarded:6/14/2012
Title:Dual Speed Read Out Integrated Circuit (ROIC)
Abstract:Nu-Trek is proposing a revolutionary two-speed, 30 Hz/960 Hz, digital readout out integrated circuit (DROIC) that simultaneously provides very high resolution images (18-20 bits) at 30 Hz and lower resolution images (10-12 bits) at up to 960 Hz. Power consumption is about 50 mW for a moderate format DROIC. This performance is unprecedented and will enable a widespread implementation of dual speed IR cameras. The dual speed IR cameras will be able to detect incoming munitions, which are presently very hard to detect. The DROIC has a revolutionary Mixed Mode Counter, which enables both high resolution and high speed operation. The design also takes advantage of an ultra -low power analog to digital converter technology (7 mW for a 14-bit, 20 MSPS ADC) that Nu-Trek has previously developed. In Phase I a prototype DROIC will be designed and fabricated. In Phase II a full scale DROIC will be fabricated and demonstrated in a camera.

RNET Technologies, Inc.
240 W. Elmwood Dr. Suite 2010
Dayton, OH 45459
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(937) 433-2886
Todd Grimes
SOCOM12-003      Awarded:6/14/2012
Title:Dual Speed Read Out Integrated Circuit (ROIC)
Abstract:This SBIR requires the development of an innovative dual speed ROIC (DSROIC) architecture, mated to a detector array within the band of interest and with suitable response speed. According to the solicitation, this effort will establish a DSROIC concept capable of performing conventional staring imaging at video frame rates, while simultaneously being able to process and detect each frame at a higher rate. The solicitation further states that the ability to smartly integrate higher frame rates will provide an overall enhanced image quality and provide an automatic integration time providing the user enhanced image quality. In addition to the greatly increased frame rate, desired features include specialized functionality that will allow for windowing/binning, zoom, autonomous signal processing, programmable frame time, programmable conversion gain, and analog to digital conversion per pixel. RNET is proposing to develop a real-time, digital DSROIC architecture with enhanced performance that will provide the much needed improvements in future FPAs. The envisioned DSROIC architecture focuses on the combination of the front-end of split channel pixel cell design, embedded analog-to-digital conversion (ADC), and programmable features.

Senseeker Engineering Inc.
5537 Capellina Way
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(805) 617-0337
Kenton Veeder
SOCOM12-003      Awarded:6/15/2012
Title:Dual Speed Digital Smart Read Out Integrated Circuit (ROIC)
Abstract:This readout integrated circuit (ROIC) will provide an all-digital system-on-chip solution for creating dual frame rate hybrid image sensors in combination with a wide variety detector materials. This ROIC will contain intelligent image processing capabilities along with binning, windowing, and digital zoom functions to maximize the number of applications to which it may be applied. Its high dual frame rate capabilities and smart image processing will make hybrid image sensors made with this ROIC important and impressive additions to the multiresolution and smart focal plane array market.

PACIFIC BLUE INNOVATIONS
9221 Carmel Mountain Road Suite 172
San Diego, CA 92129
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(858) 775-9363
Gary Abramov
SOCOM12-004      Awarded:4/19/2012
Title:Facial Signature Reduction
Abstract:Pacific Blue Innovations proposes to develop a facial signature reduction system which would reduce observable NIR and FIR signatures under varied field conditions.

Performance Indicator, LLC
116 John Street South Mill
Lowell, MA 01852
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 459-4500
Edward Kingsley
SOCOM12-004      Awarded:4/11/2012
Title:Facial Signature Reduction
Abstract:Reducing the personal signature of the warfighter, while simultaneously allowing him to “see, breathe and hear” is critical to mission success. Methods of concealment that are suitable for the body do not adequately mask the face without hindering the ability to “see, breathe and hear”. To address the need for reducing signature in the Visible and NIR/SWIR region Performance Indicator, LLC (PI) proposes to develop materials with narrow band absorption spectrum such that absorption is essentially confined to the region wherein the signature is required to be tailored to reduce detection threat. To address the need for reducing the facial signature in the LWIR region, such signature being generated due to higher facial temperature, PI proposes to develop signature reducing solutions by using materials that acts as a thermal buffer. This thermal buffer can be created by using phase change materials