Conformal Antennas for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)
As the number of functions being incorporated into unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) increase, the number of antennas needed increases as well. For a UAS, there is often limited real estate available, making it difficult to incorporate these multiple functions on one vehicle. FIRST RF proposes a unique conformal antenna design to help address the issue of antenna locations and provide a solution to the conflicts that arise from this limited real estate. By integrating unique materials into fuselage composites, the antenna profile can be reduced, providing a more conformal solution with low aerodynamic drag. This is attractive because it allows for larger antenna apertures on the aircraft skin and a more effective use of onboard payload space. In addition to displaying excellent performance in preliminary testing, the unique materials proposed for use in this Phase I effort are lighter and more cost effective to produce than conventional approaches, making them desirable for UAS applications. The combination of these new unique materials with proven FIRST RF broadband antenna technology results in a lightweight, low-cost, conformal antenna with far-reaching potential for use in other military and commercial applications. BENEFIT: Although the specific objective of this solicitation is to develop wideband conformal antenna solutions for communications and signal intelligence functions on UAS, FIRST RF recognizes that the proposed technologies have considerable relevance in other UAS, DoD, and commercial applications. By integrating broadband antennas into aerial vehicles in a conformal manner, the approach allows for the installation of antennas in nontraditional locations, such as wingtips and other control surfaces. More effective use of payload space as well as larger antenna apertures on the aircraft"s skin are the result of these methods. In addition, a removable panel version can be created, allowing existing aircraft to be retrofitted with the new designs. FIRST RF has shown the capability to transition SBIR technologies quickly and effectively to fielded hardware, so the results of this effort will be leveraged as the maturity of the technology allows.
Small Business Information at Submission:
FIRST RF CORPORATION
4865 Sterling Drive Boulder, CO -
Number of Employees: