High-Q Tunable Filters and High Efficiency Charge Pumps

NASA has invested in S-Band wireless communication with software defined radio (SDR) and smart antennas. One of the critical technology gaps in implementation and rollout of the SDR is the tunable filters and inefficient offering of the current state-of-the-art. Virtual EM has teamed with Purdue University to close this gap by developing innovative high-Q tunable filters that include low-power low-ripple charge pumps. As part of a NASA Phase I SBIR project (Topic No. NASA 2010-O1.03, Contract No. NNX11CF82P), MEMS-based two cavity resonator filter was developed and tested successfully. A charge pump based utilizing a linear MEMS driver was developed to amplify 0-2V DC by 100 times to generate 0-200V DC. The output driver uses 118mW and produces 230mV ripple. The two-channel MEMS driver and the filter were integrated as a single assembly hardware, tested and delivered to NASA. Filter insertion loss of less than 2dB with a 45dB isolation at +/- 200MHz was achieved, which exceeded the specs.

SBIR TOPIC #: 2010-O1.03 (Phase I)