Chameleon Sensor Network program

Sponsor: Defense Microelectronics Activity

Background. The Chameleon Sensor Network Program is focused on development of wireless, low-observable surveillance sensors combined with a high-sensitivity base station receiver to provide new capabilities for collection of accurate intelligence information for enhanced security and safety, effective military engagement, and rapid dissemination of intelligence data.

NDSU Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) is working with a team of industry partners to develop new technologies and to design, test and deploy new sensor systems that can address military and national security needs in these areas.

Program Objectives. The primary objectives for the Chameleon program at NDSU include:

  1. Establish advanced electronics packaging capability with support from Tessera Technologies, Inc., through a technology transfer program. This capability will provide long-term, on-shore access to such technologies as chip scale packaging, 3-D packaging and system-in package.
  2. Utilize microelectronics packaging capabilities to miniaturize components to be used for small form factor sensors.
  3. Partner with industry team members to develop, prototype and field wireless sensors and base stations to be used for military and national security applications.
  4. Perform basic and applied research in various aspects of electronics packaging and materials.

Progress. Significant progress toward the program objectives has been made during the multi-year effort. Highlights of the program’s accomplishments include:

  1. Established a world-class microelectronics packaging laboratory housed in a new 14,500 sf cleanroom wing in the Research 2 building.
  2. Established an Electronics Technology group consisting of full-time research engineers and technicians working side-by-side with student research assistants.
  3. Designed and assembled prototype microelectronics packages ranging from EEPROMs, SRAMs, microcontrollers and two-die stacks for prototype military systems.
  4. Developed wireless sensors for store and forward applications to communicate with high sensitivity base stations.
  5. Worked with industry-university team to build prototype system hardware and evaluated in field trials at U.S. military installation.
  6. Initiated electronics materials research projects focusing on such areas as underfills and metamaterials. These projects involve collaborative efforts with CNSE research scientists in the combinatorial materials research laboratory.

Greg McCarthy (program manager) –
Aaron Reinholz (technical lead) –

This material is based on research sponsored by the Defense Microelectronics Activity under agreement number H94003-08-2-0804, and prior agreements.