Technology developed at the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center has been selected as the winner for the Army at the 2008 DoD TechMatch Hot Technologies Contest.

The award was presented during this year's World's Best Technologies Showcase on March 26-27 in Arlington, Texas.

The winning technology aimed at developing MicroElectroMechanical Systems-based or alternative low-cost phased arrays for tactical seekers.

Over the past five years, AMRDEC researchers -- James Mullins, supervisor general engineer; Dr. Paul Ruffin, senior research scientist; Janice Rock, electronics engineer, RF Technology Division, ASGE; and Dr. Tracy Hudson, senior MEMS research engineer, Weapon Sciences -- have made many technological advances in the field. These included development of higher power and lower loss components and the potential elimination of gimbal electronics in missile seekers and higher performance seeker systems.

Specifically, the gimbal is a large, cumbersome, costly mechanical structure used to point the seeker (antenna) to direct radiation at an advantageous location. By steering the radiation pattern using electronic means, it is possible to achieve near instantaneous beam reposition, selective beam pointing and multiple target track.

The many applications of this technology include communication and radar arrays that require direct and directional radiation. Additionally, there is a great potential for improved lethality and reliability without cost increase, increased target search speed, and increased reliability and performance of communication links.

DoD TechMatch is a web-based portal that gives industry and academia access to research and development opportunities, licensable patents, and information on approximately 120 Navy, Army, and Air Force laboratories in the United States, which make many of their facilities available to private companies for research and testing.