Enhanced Field Expedient Body Wearable Antenna
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
The objective of this project is to develop a low-profile body-wearable VHF antenna (30MHz to 88MHz) for peer-to-peer communications. A requirement is that the antenna be fitted and practically integrated within the soldier's Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV). Two antenna types are typically used for this application: a) a whip antenna with large visual signature that hinders soldier mobility, making it unattractive, 2) meandered antenna using a long coaxial wire (Mantenna) weaved into the IOTV. The latter antenna is attractive in terms of low profile, but its implementation has so far led to poor performance, well below achievable bandwidth and gain limits. In this SBIR effort, Applied EM and its team members are proposing an innovative antenna solution aimed at reaching optimal performance limits. The proposed body wearable antenna incorporates technologies that include a) Artificial Transmission Lines (ATL) and shaping for miniaturization, b) multi-stage impedance tuning, and c) very thin and lightweight ferrite shielding. The latter is placed between the antenna and body to mitigate body losses. More importantly, it plays a critical role in shielding the soldier's body from RF radiation without appreciable weight impact. Our focus will be on a body-wearable antenna system that is broadband, has optimal gain performance, ease of use, and fully integrated into the IOTV. Preliminary data demonstrate that our concept will lead to a mantenna that can reach near-optimal limits.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Applied EM Inc.
144 Research Drive Hampton, VA 23666
Number of Employees: