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UC Professor Receives $1.2 M DARPA Award
Oct 2003
IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 7 -- Franco De Flaviis, an electrical engineering professor at University of California at Irvine (UCI), has been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (DARPA) to fabricate lighter and less expensive "phased array" antennas that could be incorporated into commercial products.

De Flaviis will create the antennas using a new technology he developed at UCI, the first to simultaneously fabricate an array of antennas and a phase shifter, the component that adjusts and directs the antennas. The technology eliminates the need to connect the pieces later in the assembly process, saving time and money and streamlining the design process.

"With this new fabrication technology, we will be able manufacture large arrays that formerly cost $250,000 for a mere $15,000," said De Flaviis. "The technology will allow industry to incorporate powerful and sophisticated phased array antennas into commercial products such as laptops or televisions. For example, these antennas make it possible to provide direct TV in a car."

The size and cost of existing phase array antennas have prevented their use outside of the military.

The new generation of antennas will be manufactured in the UCI Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility and will undergo testing inside the UCI microwave lab's anechoic chamber. The research team on the three-year project includes G.P. Li, UCI professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the INRF, and Mark Bachman, assistant director of the INRF.

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