Nuvotronics has developed and optimized the PolyStrataTM
process for the fabrication of intricate microwave and millimeter-wave devices. These devices have primarily been rectangular coaxial transmission lines, although rectangular waveguide and other structures have also been demonstrated. Intricate devices have been demonstrated with insertion loss 5 to 10 times lower than traditional planar circuits; isolation better than 60dB for lines that share separating walls; multiple levels of densely-packed coaxial circuits; and low-parasitic attachment to active devices and traditional circuit boards. In this Phase I project, Nuvotronics is proposing to develop high density low-loss millimeter backplane circuits to package and interconnect components of future NASA millimeter wave (MMW) radars. The significance of the innovation primarily lies in three areas: reduction of system size, weight and loss in MMW radars. The PolyStrata technology is a batch manufacturing process, providing economies of scale and cost reduction for higher volumes, in addition to flexibility in design for various frequencies of interest. Nuvotronics will design and test select Polystrata interconnects at MMW frequencies of interest, with particular attention to performance over temperature and survivability to launch conditions. The result of the Phase I research will prove the feasibilty of utlizing the Polystrata MMW backplane technology in future NASA missions, and provide the foundation for full scale development, testing, and prototype delivery during the Phase II project.