September 22, 2008 – ATLANTA, GA — nGimat has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I from the U.S. Navy to develop a low-cost, lightweight antenna array and beamformer for Ka-band radar systems. The sensor system is to support the safe approach and landing during brownout, whiteout, and sea spray as well as improved safety for night and no/low visibility low altitude pilotage. The antenna array and beamformer will be part of a Ka-band radar system being developed concurrently at nGimat.
Brownout is a serious problem for all US services, leading to numerous aircraft and personnel losses in the war zone. The most serious (Class A) mishaps involve collision with an obstacle or dynamic rollover due to the landing gear impacting sloped/uneven terrain or a ground hazard. An “Electronic Bumper” system would detect and track major obstacles/hazards, including other aircraft in the flight, during brownout, and virtually all low/no visibility approach and landings even if due to smoke or fog. To demonstrate an electronic bumper system, nGimat will build on its past success in making tunable components and phased array antennas. Teaming with Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) who possesses strong expertise in radar technology, nGimat expects the project to be successfully implemented.
Phase I will study in detail novel designs for a low-cost and light-weight Ka-band array and beamformer assembly suitable for use with a brownout radar system. Tradeoffs between cost, weight and performance will be considered. The most promising option will be down selected at the end of Phase I and be implenmented in Phase II.
Through its core technology of NanoSpraySM Combustion Processing, nGimat is a cost-effective manufacturer and innovator of nanoEngineered MaterialsSM in the following areas: nanopowders, thin films and devices. The Company currently has a portfolio of 45 U.S. patents, 71 non-U.S. patents, and is processing over 60 patent applications.