Rf Delta-sigma Digital Beamformer

Period of Performance: 04/30/1998 - 01/30/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Q-dot, Inc.
1069 Elkton Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Q-DOT proposes to develop an innovative digital beamformer suitable for satellite payloads for the Air Force. Based on bandpass delta-sigma data conversion technology, wideband radio frequency (RF) signals are sampled at a high intermediate frequency (IF) within a transmit/receive (T/R) module. Digital beamforming is performed directly on the one-bit delta-sigma data output from the T/R module thus saving significant size and power over competing digital beamformer architectures. Multi-beam applications are also supported. The high-speed requirements of the delta-sigma modulator and large scale integration of the digital signal processing will be met with custom integrated circuit (IC) design on an advanced SiGe HBT/CMOS process. Q-DOT is on the cutting edge of high-speed delta-sigma modulator IC development for digital beamformers in radar, communications, ultrasound, and sonar applications.During Phase I system specifications will be determined for the satellite digital beamformer. Preliminary topologies for the T/R module and beamformer will be investigated. A testbed architecture will also be developed. During Phase II, a prototype digital beamformer and/or test-bed will be built targeting specific governement and commercial applications. Substantial interest expressed in the proposed RF delta=sigma beamformer by government and commercial customers promises rapid deployment of Phase III products.