Compact Broadband Antennas
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
FIRST RF Corporation in Boulder, CO has advanced a field of study called "Conformal Load-bearing Antenna Structures" initially intended for small to medium UAVs for operation from 20 MHz - 3000 MHz. Because space is limited aboard the objective airframes, this antenna engineering design concept transforms the structural members of the airframe into radiating surfaces. Through the proposed Phase I program, FIRST RF will apply the hardware and methods of this concept to develop an antenna targeted for AFRL's objective vehicle. This antenna is integrated directly into a composite layup that forms a load-bearing aerodynamic surface. The proposed antenna meets AFRL-MN's challenging bandwidth specifications, desired gain coverage and polarization diversity while remaining completely within the existing vehicle Outer Mold Line (OML). This antenna is a departure from the standard design approach for airborne conformal antennas in that it makes full use of the entire airframe to radiate. Contrast this novel approach to the standard wraparound antenna or conformal drop-in approach that protrudes into the vehicle fuselage. Through a symbiotic relationship between composites, materials and RF engineering, this design concept transforms the vehicle structure itself into an antenna.
Small Business Information at Submission:
FIRST RF CORP.
4865 Sterling Drive, Suite 100 Boulder, CO 80301
Number of Employees: