Efficient Small Antennas
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
Existing antennas are deficient in several areas. Lightweight passive antennas often suffer low efficiency performance if the size is reduced below a substantial fraction of the operating wavelength. Antennas loaded with material are heavier, higher cost, and also suffer efficiency losses. Finally, active tuning for broad bandwidth raises the cost and can limit the capability of the communications in waveform and frequency hopping. The goal of this effort is to improve functionality of 30MHz-2GHz antennas by combining more functionality into a single reduced-size aperture, while maintaining the performance of the existing larger apertures. This is accomplished by a novel and critical enabling technology developed at FIRST RF based on the volumetric reuse of orthogonal antenna elements and taking advantage of new metamaterials such as magnetodielectric that have improved loss tangents at VHF and UHF frequencies over the past several years. FIRST RF will employ this key enabling technology, combined with novel radiator shapes and designs to achieve DARPA's stated goals. FIRST RF will demonstrate a 10:1 reduction in height of typical cavity backed electrically small VHF and UHF antennas while still maintain acceptable gains and broadband performance for communications and EW applications.
Small Business Information at Submission:
FIRST RF CORP.
4865 Sterling Drive Boulder, CO 80301
Number of Employees: