---------- DARPA ----------

11 Phase I Selections from the 04.2 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
220 Ballardvale St., Suite D
Wilmington, MA 01887
(978) 694-1006
Dr. Jing Zhao
DARPA 04-033       Awarded: 09NOV04
Title:Low-Loss Miniature Optical Time Delay Modules
Abstract:Leveraging on our industry leading switchable photonic delay commercial product offerings, Agiltron proposes to develop the next-generation 8-bit delay line that meets the challenging requirements of lower insertion loss and higher switching speed. The next-level performance improvement will be achieved by implementing a new precision glass micro-optic fiber assembly technology in combination with the use of thermal-expanded beam fibers that promise a several fold miniaturization of the device. The present invention provides an inexpensive and low loss fiberoptic module for emerging microwave photonic applications. Our approach is state-of-the-art in design and closely coupled with proven fiber optic component manufacturing techniques, holding the promise of realizing practical optical digital delay with performance and cost that have not been previously achieved. Constructed using all solid-state inorganic electro-optic material, the proposed switch overcomes the limitations in speed and long-term reliability associated with other approaches. A low loss and high-speed fiberoptic 8 bit reconfigurable true time delay device with large dynamic range exceeding microseconds will be demonstrated in Phase I.

9020 Junction Drive
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701
(301) 604-7668
Dr. Brent Little
DARPA 04-033       Awarded: 02SEP04
Title:Optical Time Delay Modules for RF Systems and Telecommunications
Abstract:Eight-bit optical true time delay devices have been demonstrated on a new low loss high index contrast photonics platform. In this proposal the performance (i.e. loss and speed) of high-index monolithically integrated programmable delay circuits will be optimized and systems research will be conducted to select complementary components to realize practical systems. High index glass planar lightwave circuits will lead to integration densities of a 100-fold improvement relative to conventional processes, thus dramatically reducing the size, power consumption and cost of optical true time delay circuits. Reliability is dramatically improved as the devices have monolithically integrated switches and delay lines within a single chip relative to systems based on discrete photonic components. In addition to components research, an output of this program will be a plan to test and demonstrate systems based monolithic true time delay devices.

10435 Burnet Rd., Suite 108
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 996-8833
Dr. Maggie Chen
DARPA 04-033       Awarded: 01SEP04
Title:Highly Scalable Low Loss Fast Tuned True Time Delay Module Based on Dispersion Enhanced Photonic Crystal Fibers
Abstract:To provide DARPA with a high-resolution (>8 bits) optical time delay module exhibiting low optical insertion loss (< 3 dB) and fast reconfiguration time (< 10 micro-seconds), Omega Optics proposes a low-loss, fast-tuned true time delay (TTD) module based on dispersion enhanced photonic crystal fiber (PCF) in conjunction with a fast wavelength tunable laser. Low insertion loss of 3 dB is achieved through the employment of conventional fiber numerical-aperture matched PCF connection, which is to be designed and fabricated in this program. Also, due to the enhanced dispersion (D > -2500 ps/nm˙km), time delay from 0s to 10ns can be continuously obtained with less than 80m PCF within a wavelength tuning range of 50nm at 1550nm while maintaining a switching time faster than 10 micro-seconds. Compared with highly dispersive silicon fiber (D ~ -100 ps/nm˙km), the total length needed is shortened by 25 times. Consequently, the overall volume and weight is decreased by 25 times. To prove the feasibility of the TTD module, the design and fabrication of highly dispersive PCF and fast tunable laser, and the characterization of the TTD module will be performed to achieve the system goal. Success of these tasks will lay a solid foundation for the phase II and phase III continuation.

283 Great Valley Parkway
Malvern, PA 19355
(610) 613-8793
Dr. Anthony F. Garito
DARPA 04-033       Awarded: 28OCT04
Title:Fast Switchable Wavelength Selective Integrated Optical True Time Delay Modules based on Ultralow loss, Athermal and Polarization Independent Waveguide Platform
Abstract:The objective of this proposal is to develop innovative fast switchable (~200ns), wavelength selective, integrated optical true time delay modules based on ultralow loss, athermal and polarization independent waveguide platform with an insertion loss of <3dB for 4 and 8-bit RF system and telecommunication applications. The proposed approach is based on wavelength selective time delay switching via a fast switchable tunable laser with wavelength selective delay lines. Passive wavelength selective time delays are provided by our record breaking ultra-low loss (i.e. <0.045dB/cm over O/C/L bands with a Dn of 1.6%) Teflon-based perfluoropolymer waveguide platform, where array waveguide gratings (AWGs) and delay lines are monolithically integrated. Fast reconfiguration is realized by a digitally switchable (i.e. 8-bit) tunable source based on Sample Grating Distributed Bragg Reflector (SGDBR) laser. In the proposed design, digital control of the TTD module can be processed at the SGDBR lasers with an 8-bit digital operation, while monolithically integrated AWG and delay lines provide all passive TTD signal processes, resulting in more simple system architecture. Furthermore, VLSI fabrication of monolithically integrated AWG and delay lines enable superior control of the resolution of the delay lines (~1micron), thus providing sub-picoseconds time delay control.

c/o University Buffalo Incubator, 1576 Sweet Home
Amherst, NY 14228
(716) 639-0632
Mr. Nehal Chokshi
DARPA 04-034       Awarded: 29SEP04
Title:High Performance GaN High Electron Mobility Transistors on Flexible Substrates
Abstract:AMBPTech in collaboration with Dr Wayne Anderson's group at SUNY Buffalo proposes to develop a technology for manufacturing high performance GaN transistors on roll to roll flexible non-conducting foils. This effort will transfer the leading research done at the University of Buffalo in the area of high mobility thin film transistors on thin polyimide foils to AMBP Tech which will leverage propietary processes in thin film deposition and laser annealing to produce high mobility material (~2000cm2/Vs). Phase II will consist of optimizing the deposition and annealing parameters, as well as monolithically fabricating arrays of slot antennas, resistors, capacitors and HEMTs. The latter effort will create an array of MMICs that will prove the concept that a high angular resolution antenna for radar applications can be monolithically fabricated.

34935 SE Douglas St., Suite 200
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
(425) 396-5707
Mr. Joe Ketterl
DARPA 04-034       Awarded: 01SEP04
Title:Large Area Portable Radar Antenna Arrays
Abstract:In this Phase I SBIR proposal, MicroConnex (MCX) proposes to investigate the fabrication of arrays of high-performance thin film silicon (Si) transistors on flexible polymer films. There is a strong need for high performance semiconductor devices for applications where high frequency operation, light weight, and conforming to a curved surface is required for radar and other applications. Suitable products are not commercially available. MCX proposes to investigate a transfer process for producing high-performance thin film Si devices on flexible polymer substrates. Initially a feasibility study will be conducted in order to assess the practicality of MCX's proposed proprietary process. Some basic proof-of-concept experiments will be conducted. The proprietary process involves depositing elemental Si on a metal substrate at high temperature, and then transferring the fabricated devices to a polymer film. The process is completely scalable and large arrays of devices can be fabricated and transferred simultaneously. In Phase I, MCX will work with the University of Washington to perform device and process modeling. Modeling done at the UW indicates that the transistors may be useful up towards 25 GHz. In Phase II, the device fabrication will be optimized and scaled up for use with large flexible substrates.

57 Smith Place
Cambridge, MA 02138
(781) 383-6016
Dr. Matthew White
DARPA 04-034       Awarded: 14SEP04
Title:Roll-to-Roll Production of mm-Wave Antenna Arrays on Flexible Polymer Substrates
Abstract:The objective of the proposed SBIR Program is to establish the feasibility of cost-effectively fabricating a large-area, high-performance, mm-wave radar antenna array on a flexible polymer substrate using roll-to-roll processing. This will be accomplished by further developing and refining innovative laser processing and polymer film processing technologies developed by the MicroContinuum-UCF team, and taking advantage of the unique physical properties of nanoparticle powders. Comprehensive analysis and modeling will be performed to determine the lowest risk ways to apply these technologies. Experiments to develop and demonstrate solution(s) to the most challenging aspect, the low temperature formation of Schottky antenna-structures that provide high mixing efficiency and good mm-wave absorption characteristics, will be carried out and the results reported. The possibility of ultimate low-cost, high-volume manufacturing will be maintained by developing methods that are specifically implementable by continuous roll-to-roll processes.

40 Amherst Avenue
Waltham, MA 02451
(781) 899-6924
Dr. Phil Lamarre
DARPA 04-034       Awarded: 08NOV04
Title:Large Area Portable Radar Antenna Arrays
Abstract:This proposal describes an innovative approach to the objective of developing a large area portable antenna with support electronics including high power, wide bandgap, transistor amplifiers on very large flexible metal substrates. We believe that the refractory nature of wide bandgap semiconductors will also allow operation at very high temperatures if necessary. In addition, the very high breakdown field and saturated drift velocity of the wide bandgap material predict not only Fmax values exceeding 80 GHz but also high (1.0 -2.0 kV) operating voltages. Maximum Available Gains in excess of 18 dB at 10 GHz are predicted, along with Power Added Efficiencies of 45+ % (Class A operation) and 70+ % (Class B operation). Pulse power outputs of the order of 1 MW for a 1 usec pulse are expected.

155C-3 Moffett Park Drive
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
(408) 745-1188
Dr. David C. Zhang
DARPA 04-035       Awarded: 01SEP04
Title:Embedded control of an Active Structural Integrity Monitoring System using interlaced PZT and Thin-Film Transistors
Abstract:In recent years, Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is increasingly being evaluated by the industry as a possible method to improve the safety and reliability of structures and thereby reduce their operational cost. However, the scalability and applicability of SHM systems for the monitoring of large structures is still a challenge. Sensors and actuators of a structural health monitoring system can be integrated with a large structure but may be difficult to control using externally located electronics. Acellent Technologies, proposes to develop innovative technologies for embedded control of a network of actuators and sensors using thin-film transistors. The resulting system will have the advantages of (1) versatility and flexibility for application to structures of any geometry and configuration, (2) enhanced resolution for structural integrity monitoring, (3) low-cost and (4) extreme portability. The development will utilize Acellent's current SMART layer technology that uses a network of sensor and actuators embedded on a thin dielectric film to monitor the health of a structure. Phase I will be aimed at development of a concept design using macroelectronics and demonstrating the working of a prototype system.

6 Skyline Drive
Hawthorne, NY 10532
(914) 345-2442
Mr. Shyam Raghunandan
DARPA 04-035       Awarded: 31AUG04
Title:Large-Asset, Intelligent, Composite-Matrix, Multifunctional Sensor Networks
Abstract:The ability to efficiently utilize the large surface area of entities such as buildings, tanks, and ships as active, intelligent skins will allow these assets to become part of a larger, highly-responsive, complex nervous system in mission critical scenarios. This will enable information that would otherwise not be available for real-time monitoring and response. Large-area assets would also allow efficient harvesting of lost energy and a feedback to the original system, leading to significant energy and cost savings. One of the key limitations to this advance has been the lack of large-area manufacturing and integration capability that would best utilize the enormous potential of such systems. In this proposal, we will develop a large-area, intelligent, composite-matrix sensor network using a combination of reinforced woven fabric, and microelectronic processing technologies. In the Phase I program, we will develop a design of the composite-matrix sensor structure and validate the process and equipment to enable scaling to large areas. In the follow on Phase II program, we will demonstrate a large-area sensor network in collaboration with an end-user, and demonstrate a functional product. We will commercialize the final product and offer it to the military and commercial markets in Phase III.

2780 Skypark Drive, Suite 400
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 891-2807
Dr. Anna Stewart
DARPA 04-035       Awarded: 20SEP04
Title:Printed Electronics Processing for Structural Integrity (PEPSI)
Abstract:NextGen Aeronautics, Inc., teamed with Penn State and Virginia Tech, proposes to apply cutting edge research in flexible organic electronic devices and circuits toward the development of a unique printing technology for structural integrity monitoring sensors. Innovative concepts that NextGen can bring to bear on this challenge include existing flexible sensor technologies and associated flexible circuits, conductive polymer printable interconnects, and nanotechnology-based printing. The objective is a low-cost structural health monitoring system that may be applied to a diverse array of military and commercial business sectors. The primary advantages offered by the proposed system versus state-of-the-art alternatives are: low cost; light weight; continuous operation, on-demand assessment; and the ability to evaluate the state of an entire large structure. Additionally, the proposed system will be equally applicable to metallic, composite, plastic, ceramic, adhesive, sealant and coating materials. Objectives of the Phase I effort will be to design a printable sensor with associated signal processing electronics and demonstrate printed sensor fabrication as a cost-effective alternative to existing methods. In so doing, the NextGen/Penn State/Virginia Tech team will raise the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of this approach from 1 to 3.