Mechanically Controllable Microwave Phase Shifters
Introduction Researchers at the UW have developed a low-cost microwave phase shifter that will be a key component of the ground station antenna for the proposed high-speed satellite based internet connection. The designs use a low-power electro-active polymer (EAP) as an actuator. Technology description Electro-active polymer actuators are low-cost and low-power devices suited for microwave applications. Unlike military phased-array antennas which are designed to detect missiles, these proposed internet-in-the-sky antennas are used for tracking slowly moving satellites whose positions can be predicted. A low-cost, slow microwave switch based on an EAP actuator is therefore an ideal solution. Business opportunity This technology can be utilized for low-cost phased array antennas for the Teledesic satellite system and in various other military or civilian communication systems. Stage of development Initial data exist for this technology. Intellectual property position This technology is available for licensing. The UW is currently reviewing this technology for worldwide patent protection.
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