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MEMS and Liquid Crystal based, Agile Reflectarray Antennas for Security and COMunication (ARASCOM)
Start date: 15 May 2008, End date: 14 Nov 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

ARASCOM OBJECTIVESOur project is focused on Research & Development for efficient use of micro-nano devices as basis of agile antennas with moderate cost, that are more and more required in advanced systems for Communication, Safety and Security. We will assess this until representative prototypes at a very large and innovative level:·\tvery large because the developed agile "reflectarray" antennas for Communication (to be implemented in base-stations and satellites) will comprise thousands of RF-MEMS switches integrated in the radiating board for phase-controlling the reflected waves·\tinnovative: first because such quantities will require both accurate & safe design, and setting-up industrial processes including on-wafer packaging and automatic assembling, to reach higher reproducibility in top-level performances (improving reliability) than previous European projects on RF-MEMS·\tinnovative especially because to operate at the very high frequencies suited to security imaging, safe-landing & anti-collision radar (typically around 77 GHz), will be developed new phase-shifters combining MEMS with nematic Liquid Crystals ; the latter provide variable permittivity by adjusting molecules orientation, so may be called "nano-scale control devices".So both Micro (MEMS) & Nano (nematic LC) technologies will be deeply investigated, for their best properties in agile antennas.PROJECT TEAMTo reach the presented objectives, we gathered 9 complementary partners from 4 large member-states:-\t3 among the best European academies for MEMS & LC design (U. Perugia, T.U.Darmstadt), as for reflectarray antennas (U.P.Madrid & Perugia)-\t2 public Research institutes, leaders for RF-MEMS development over a large range of frequencies (LETI, FBK)-\t4 industrial end-users among the main players in Communication, Security & Safety: SELEX-SI for concealed weapon detection, EADS-Innovation Works for helicopters landing radar, Thales Alenia Space for satellites and S.R.F.Moyano for base-stations.
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