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MEMS Based Integrated Phased Array Antennas

Acronym: MIPA
Start: 8/1/2001
End: 7/31/2004

Project Status History
unknown 8/1/2001
 
 Funding Programmes
CORDIS Cost-sharing contracts1894600 

Abstract
MIPA is focused on the development of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and related technologies for millimetre wave transceivers applied to car radar systems working at 77-GHz or satellite multimedia data links in the upper Q band (40/50-GHz). The development of MEMS based millimetre wave modules and their assembly to antenna front-end prototypes with redundancy power routing (space application) or phased array antenna feeding (automotive) will demonstrate the enormous innovative potential of MEMS technology in the millimetre wave range. In order to ensure the possible widespread of these RF MEMS based components into commercial products, packaging and reliability issues will be specifically addressed. The MIPA consortium comprises leading European companies in microwave product development and microsystems technology with expertise in wafer fabrication, packaging, reliability assessment and commercial exploitation. Objectives: The main objective of the MIPA project is to make millimetre wave microsystems available for their commercial use in broadband satellite data links in the Q band (40/50 GHz) and in future generations of car radar systems working at 77 GHz. Sub-objectives stands for: *Design and modelling of RF MEMS switches for application at 50 and 77 GHz *Development of MEMS based process to implement these RF MEMS switches *Design and development of MEMS based beam forming network for application at 77 GHz *Design and development of antenna arrays at 50/77 GHz on appropriate substrates *Development and implementation of dedicated packaging for the RF MEMS components *Design and implementation of prototypes for applications in phased array antenna for automotive radar and in focal array fed reflector for telecommunication Work description: MIPA starts with the specification of MEMS devices and MEMS based sub-modules such as redundancy switches, phase shifting devices, power routing networks. Also the specification of the assembly of these devices and modules to a space and an automotive prototype for operation at 50-GHz and 77-GHz, respectively, is immediately addressed. One main part of the work is the design of these devices by using electromagnetic and thermo-mechanical simulation tools to serve the wafer processing with layouts and important technology related information. The wafer processing deals with the microfabrication of single MEMS switches themselves, their monolithic integration to yield more complex on-wafer sub-modules as phase shifters or routing networks. It comprises the fabrication of on-wafer matching and bias structures and other passive components. Therefore, a lot of technology work and technology development in the microsystems area will be done during the wafer processing. With regard to the strong requirements in the space and automotive industrial sector, the work related to packaging and hermetic sealing of MEMS based sub-modules (to protect them against an impairment through environmental conditions) will constitute the largest part of the MIPA work. Especially the performance of the devices at the envisaged frequencies for operation (50 and 77-GHz) after their packaging must be investigated in depth. To exploit MEMS devices for millimetre wave applications, their reliability under all possible conditions must be known. Therefore, much effort will be spend on the determination of the long-time behaviour (both mechanical and electrical) of millimetre wave MEMS in order to identify weak points in the technology and fabrication process flow. This will be done with special regard to space and automotive conditions (vibration, temperature, humidity, etc.). For the demonstration of the tremendous potential of MEMS at millimetre wave frequencies, MEMS based antenna front-ends will be developed and characterised, one for a 50-GHz space communications system and one for a 77-GHz car radar. This work will be supported with the development of other millimetre wave components as e.g. array antennas, to build MEMS based integrated phased array prototypes. Milestones: #1 Acceptance of system specifications: M4 #2 Acceptance of design and model of RF-MEMS: M28 #3 Acceptance of RF-MEMS wafer process flow: M28 #4 Acceptance of 0-level packaging for RF-MEMS: M31 #5 Acceptance of RF-MEMS assembly technology: M28 #6 Acceptance of "non-MEMS" constituents: M18 #7 Final selection and release of MIPA assembly : M28 #8 Acceptance of MIPA prototypes: M35 #9Project End TIP completed Last day(M36)

 
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