Compact Broadband Antennas
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
As UAV airframes become smaller and yet more functional, a dramatic need arises for versatile wideband antennas that are conformal to the airframe yet are not compromised by the integration methods. Traditionally, VHF and UHF apertures present the greatest challenge because the wavelengths at these frequencies are on the order of the size of the vehicle itself, if not bigger. FIRST RF has developed a breakthrough method of transforming the airframe of the vehicle itself into an antenna, namely the wings. The Phase I program was successful in developing a very novel antenna technology - the LEADeR antenna - whereby the entire wing serves as part of the antenna. Because the antenna effective aperture is so much bigger than traditional highly-tuned resonant approaches, the antenna input impedance is much more amenable to broadband matching techniques. The direct application of this antenna technology includes two specific airborne platforms with a requirement to transmit high power RF signals over a broad frequency range - VHF through upper UHF. One vehicle is an airborne decoy, the other is an airborne electronic warfare (EW) system. Until now, one of the biggest challenges to each system is a high performance, broadband conformal antenna.
Small Business Information at Submission:
FIRST RF CORP.
4865 Sterling Drive Suite 100 Boulder, CO 80301
Number of Employees: