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Hwang receives SBIR subcontract for RF MEMS research

Professor Jim Hwang of Lehigh University's electrical and computer engineering department investigates microwave devices and circuits, especially micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), for phased-array radar and communication systems. Recently, his lab has partnered with the MEMtronics Corporation of Richardson, TX, on a project entitled Intelligent Sense and Control of RF MEMS Switching Technology, funded by a Phase II SBIR through the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

The goal of the project is to take advantage of the best available tuning technologies (MEMS-based tuning varactors) and modern control technology (CMOS electronics) to create reconfigurable filters at microwave frequencies that will have broad application in military systems. These low-loss, rapidly tunable bandpass filters are based on the integration of MEMS-based capacitive tuners and innovative CMOS closed-loop control circuits with state-of-the-art substrate integrated waveguide filter technology.

Jim has been active in the MEMS field for many years. For more than a decade, he has teamed with MEMtronics on many projects funded by AFRL, Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA), Missile Defense Agency, NASA, and others. Together, they have completed a nine-year program funded by DARPA under the title Harsh Environment, Robust Micromechanical Technology. Through this program, they improved the packaging and reliability of MEMS switches by orders of magnitude.

Recently, Jim also completed another DARPA-funded program entitled MEMS/NEMS Science and Technology Fundamentals, under which he has significantly improved the power-handling capacity of MEMS switches.

January 14, 2016

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