nGimat has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II award from the US Navy to prototype a low cost, miniaturized tunable filter for use in X-band active electronically steered antenna (AESA) array based radar systems. This is a two-year contract with a funding of $750,000.

Microwave tunable filters are needed in numerous fields such as communications and radar systems. Magnetically tunable filters, although exhibiting low insertion loss, are bulky, slow and expensive. The ability to electronically tune the center frequency of a filter presents clear advantages. The recent advances in tunable ferroelectric thin films have provided a low-cost solution for such a filter.

Over the past year, nGimat has proved the concept of an X-band tunable filter using its proprietary barium strontium titanate (BST) technology and unique filter designs. “We have developed an X-band tunable filter with a steep roll-off (>30 dB at ±10 percent fo), as well as moderate tunability and loss,” said Zhiyong Zhao, program manager for nGimat. "We will further perfect the design and improve the materials and processing, and a fully functional device will be delivered to Navy by end of the Phase II.”