SI2 Technologies, Inc. supports Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate

Amanda Schrand, Ph.D, of the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate, conducts the out brief of the week long sprint technology development to representative customers

SI2 was one of two small businesses invited to join the week long Technology Sprint by AFRL Munitions Directorate at the Doolittle Institute in Niceville, FL recently. Under the global heading of Designing Resilient Hybrid Technologies, the week's specific task was "Resilient Hybrid Electronics Technology Sprint: 3D Printed Conformal Antenna." Along with diverse government organizations and universities, SI2 brought extensive additive manufacturing and antenna/Flexible Hybrid Electronics experience to the working event. The sprint is a week-long team technology design event based on this book that takes a problem from inception to customer testing in just one week.

During this week, the group examined a real world munitions need, the technologies and potential solutions to address it, and fabricated a prototype which was briefed to the representative customers.

SI2 is a specialty RF company specializing in antenna, array, and sensor designs using both conventional and additive manufacturing.

For more information on Sprint, see also this video:


SI2 Technologies, Inc. Participates in 2018 National Security Innovation Summit (NSIS)

From July 16-July 18th, SI2 participated in the NSIS conference for small businesses on the forefront of innovative technologies. The conference is for invited presentations only, and SI2 presented on the seven generations of Tightly Coupled Dipole Arrays produced for various customers since 2008. The conference included meetings with Chief Technology Officers and the equivalents from the USASMDC, DHS, DTIC, and the APEO Future Operations for Army PEO Aviation. Highlights of the multi-day event were urgent needs briefings from all US Combatant Commands.

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Additive Manufacturing of Radio Frequency Systems

SI2 Technologies, Inc. is leveraging its experience with RF design and additive manufacturing (AM) to design, 3D-print, and range-test novel phased array antennas and related systems. Our team is developing printed, high-efficiency phased arrays operating at DoD-relevant frequencies. These electronically-steerable phased arrays have no moving parts (increasing long-term reliability) and can survive the failure of individual array elements with manageable performance degradation. Conventional methods of manufacturing arrays with complex architectures can be costly, whereas SI2’s additively manufactured arrays are well-suited for size-, weight-, power-, and cost-constrained applications. In the past, the integration of multiple material classes (e.g., dielectrics and electrical conductors) into a single AM build has been a challenge due to materials and processing incompatibilities. We detail how to overcome these challenges by 1) utilizing a 3D printer that can print FDM filaments, print conductive pastes, and mill surfaces and 2) optimizing the chemistries between dissimilar materials. We will include trade studies to identify the best printing technique or combination of techniques to meet the DoD’s phased array performance goals. This approach minimizes production costs, array volume, and thermal management issues, and maximizes array efficiency. We will detail the considerable experience with printed electronics, phased array antenna design, and phased array antenna fabrication and testing. Commercial applications for these arrays include low cost antennas and arrays for weather monitoring, air traffic control, maritime vessel traffic control, and vehicle speed detection for law enforcement. An overview of AM phased array work will be presented.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how to build a 3D printed array using multiple techniques.
  • Describe how the printing process affects the performance of the array.

Member Spotlight: SI2 Technologies

Meet SI2 Technologies.

SI2 Technologies, Inc., is a high-technology, small-business firm founded in January 2003, and is a leading developer of antenna, array, absorber and sensor products and services for the defense and aerospace markets. We specialize in low profile, wide bandwidth solutions for antennas, and in high precision advanced absorber products.

What would you like others to know about SI2 Technologies and its capabilities?

SI2 offers a unique combination of RF design expertise, conventional manufacturing expertise, and additive manufacturing expertise for Flex Hybrid Electronics development. Our additive manufacturing capabilities include 2D printing (e.g., 48”-wide web for inkjet printing on flexible substrates), 2.5D printing (e.g., printing frequency-selective surfaces onto curved vehicle structures), and 3D printing (e.g., printing planar and non-planar antennas using dissimilar materials); see Figure 1. We can also integrate COTS ICs and passive components with manufactured parts, yielding “smart” hybrid devices.

Left: FHE Wireless Energy Harvester; Right: 3D-Printed 4 x 4 Antenna Aperture

Why is SI2 Technologies interested in Flexible Hybrid Electronics? What opportunities do you see?

FHE is expanding the RF design and manufacturing space with materials and approaches that have not traditionally been available for such applications. We have provided custom designs meeting challenging size, weight, and power constraints, and we see FHE as an enabler for advanced designs. SI2 pursues contract research and development opportunities throughout the DoD.

How did you get involved in NextFlex, and what are you seeking to achieve through NextFlex?

SI2 is proud to have been the first member of NextFlex. We team at both the tactical and strategic levels on programs and for specific solutions, so NextFlex allows us to both stay current with technology applications and meet potential partners. We would encourage companies with complementary technical capabilities and a desire to partner to reach out for joint business pursuits and customer solutions.

What types of activities has your company engaged in with NextFlex since becoming a member?

We participate in NextFlex Tech Council meetings, cooperative work on roadmaps, and, of course, networking. We are the newest representative member of the Governing Council; we have attended Innovation Days and are helping to plan for the upcoming workshop on how FHE can address the DoD’s needs. We have responded to multiple project calls and are currently executing on several Consortium contracts.

Article on NextFlex


NextFlex Recognizes All-Stars of Flexible Hybrid Electronics

Pictured L to R: Suresh Sitaraman, Georgia Tech; Joe Kunze, SI2 Technologies; Malcolm Thompson, NextFlex; Terri Sandu, Lorain County Community College; Michael Durstock, AFRL (on behalf of Rich Vaia) and Eric Forsythe, ARL (on behalf of Geoff Slipher).

Read more on the NextFlex' website.