STTR Phase I: MEMS Reconfigurable Antenna for Portable Wireless Devices

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Black Hills Nanosystems Corporation
324 St. Joseph St., Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
Principal Investigator, Firm POC

Research Institution

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
501 East Saint Joseph Street
Rapid City, SD 57701


The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is the commercial availability of the reconfigurable antenna product for the mobile market. The reconfigurable antenna can provide enormous benefits including power savings, improve signal reception, bandwidth, link budgets, reduce drop-calls and improve overall call quality, improved gain/range and increasing the number of devices served by the same wireless infrastructure. The potential opportunity is at least $2 billion as the cell phone market alone accounts for more than 1 billion antennas per year. Smart phones would be the most relevant portion of the market. The percentage of smart phones is climbing every year and already exceeds 1 billion units annually. This Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase I project will develop a miniaturized reconfigurable antenna that will enable portable wireless devices to continuously operate at optimal efficiency, improving bandwidth, range, energy efficiency, capacity and overall performance of portable wireless devices. The proposed antenna addresses the efficiency and linearity shortcomings of competing approaches. The proposed project will focus on RF MEMS integration, optimization, and experimental verification.