DARPA, Rockwell Collins eye MEMS to help revolutionize radio technology

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa 8 Nov. 2006. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., has selected Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to lead an effort to use micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology to revolutionize the state of the art in radio technology.

Nov 8th, 2006

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa 8 Nov. 2006. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., has selected Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to lead an effort to use micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology to revolutionize the state of the art in radio technology.

The project, which is part of the DARPA Analog Spectral Processors (ASP) program, seeks to use MEMS technology to create radio front-ends.

In the ASP program, Rockwell Collins is teaming with the MEMS scientific community to develop an ultra-wideband, multi-channel receiver and spectral sensor. The development will leverage new RF architecture and RF MEMS technologies for high-performance tunable filters and RF switches.

The goal is to develop affordable, low-power heterogeneous integration, Rockwell Collins officials say.

"Employing MEMS technology in the development of the Analog Spectral Processors will significantly impact the communications industry by offering superior radio filter performance and flexibility for reduced cost, size, and power consumption," says John Borghese, vice president of the Rockwell Collins Advanced Technology Center.

"While the benefits will be realized in all communications areas, the Joint Tactical Radio System program will be one of the first programs to reap the rewards of our work," Borghese says.

Phase one of the ASP program will develop filters and components. In phase two scientists will integrated these components into filter banks and prototypes. Demonstration of the complete radio front end will take place in the third phase.

Rockwell Collins is leading this effort under the ASP program. Other participants include Teledyne Scientific Co. in Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.; Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.; University of California at San Diego; Innovative Micro Technology in Santa Barbara, Calif.; the MEMS and Nanotechnology Exchange in Reston, Va.; and Sanmina-SCI Corp. in San Jose, Calif.

For more information contact Rockwell Collins online at www.rockwellcollins.com.

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