Phase-Shifter for Ka-Band Array Employing Piezo-Electric Actuators

Period of Performance: 01/01/1994 - 12/31/1994


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Microstar, Inc.
1393 Worth Court NE
Palm Bay, FL 32905
Principal Investigator


Flat arrays for portable ground terminals and small satellites operating at 20 GHz and 30 GHz require phase shifters for beam steering and pointing such as for The Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS). Portable terminals require steering or tracking to compensate for vehicle or personnel back-pack motion while communicating to a satellite. Conventional phase shifters employing ferrite or pin diode type components demand relatively high switching and holding currents as compared to the innovative piezo-electric type laboratory prototyped and proposed. Batteries for portable terminals and small satellites are volume and weight overhead support systems which will be substantially reduced in power requirements using piezo-electric phase shifters in place of the more conventional high power draining phase control devices. Significant power savings with the Piezo-electric phase shifter as compared to conventional types is projected, especially where high array element quantities are involved. Continuous phase shifting is possible as opposed to the discrete types which result in phase step loss. The project result is the breadboard of a 2 element steerable array using piezo-electric phase shifters. Scan Patterns versus continuous phase shifter will be measured. The phase shifter will be prototyped to the next level.