640 GHz Heterodyne Polarimeter

Period of Performance: 06/10/2016 - 12/09/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Virginia Diodes, Inc.
979 Second Street, Southeast
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


This proposal is responsive to NASA SBIR Subtopic S1.02: Microwave Technologies for Remote Sensing, specifically the interest in the development of a 640 GHz Heterodyne Polarimeter with I, Q, U Channels. Suitably compact, light-weight and power efficient heterodyne instruments are required to enable polarimetric measurements for microphysical parameterization of ice clouds applicable to NASA's planned Aerosol, Cloud and Ecosystems (ACE) mission. VDI will develop and demonstrate a compact heterodyne receiver technology that achieves the polarimetric capability required for ACE and other atmospheric remote sensing instruments throughout the frequency range from 100 GHz to about 1 THz. Through the Phase 1 effort, VDI will demonstrate the feasibility of achieving the 640 GHz polarimetric receiver capability required by NASA. This effort will include the development and characterization of a 640 GHz orthomode transducer (OMT), the demonstration of a 640 GHz low-noise amplifier, and the assembly and testing of a complete polarimetric receiver. Although the Phase 1 prototype will use discrete components (OMT, LNA, mixer, and multipliers); all of these components will be designed for full integration in Phase 2.