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Proceedings Paper

MEMS-based phased arrays for Army applications
Author(s): Paul B. Ruffin; James C. Holt; James H. Mullins; Tracy Hudson; Janice Rock
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Paper Abstract

The Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) initiated a research and development project several years ago to develop Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)-based phased arrays to provide rapid beam steering for sensors, optical and Radio Frequency (RF) missile seekers, and RF communication links. In particular, the joint AMRDEC/Army Research Laboratory (ARL) project, which leverages low-cost phased array components developed under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Low Cost Cruise Missile Defense (LCCMD) project, is developing RF switches, phase shifters, and passive phased sub-arrays to provide a fast scanning capability for pointing, acquisition, tracking, and data communication; and rugged, optical MEMS-based phased arrays to be employed in small volume, low-cost Laser Detection and Ranging (LADAR) seekers. The current status of the project is disclosed in this paper. Critical technical challenges, which include design and fabrication of the RF switches and phase shifters, design and fabrication of micro lens arrays, control of beam steering, scanning angular resolution and array losses, are discussed. Our approach to overcoming the technical barriers and achieving required performance is also discussed. Finally, the validity of a MEMS technology approach against competing low cost technologies is presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2007
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6528, Nanosensors, Microsensors, and Biosensors and Systems 2007, 652802 (11 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.721760
Show Author Affiliations
Paul B. Ruffin, U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (United States)
James C. Holt, U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (United States)
James H. Mullins, U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (United States)
Tracy Hudson, U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (United States)
Janice Rock, U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6528:
Nanosensors, Microsensors, and Biosensors and Systems 2007
Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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