High Gain Ka-Band Data Link Antennas with Wide-Field-of-Regard (WFOR)
ABSTRACT: The Nuvotronics approach is to replace the traditional dish-based antenna technologies by batch fabricated micromachined electronically-scanned subarray modules. A number of such subarray modules are combined to form a conformal WFOR-ISR antenna system to operate across a selected portion of the Ka band. The array backplane will provide all signal, control and power connections to the subarray modules. Several architectures will be explored to optimize data downlink, data uplink and UAV tracking. To accommodate challenging operational requirements advanced solutions for array elements, subarray modules with TR components and overall array architecture will be developed. Comprehensive analytical and numerical studies will be carried out including full-wave electromagnetic modeling for aperture, beamforming and power distribution circuits. As a result of this work, a novel ground antenna system for UAV downlink/uplink data transmission will be developed with significant improvement in electrical performance and cost for both military and commercial applications. BENEFIT: The program addresses a broad spectrum of military and civil UAV platforms aimed to operate in real time through establishing and maintaining reliable, stable, high-bandwidth and long-range communication links between UAVs and ground stations due to UAVs mobility and broad flight ranges, speeds and altitudes. In military applications, high data transfer rates & #8805; 1Gb/s will be provided for emerging wide-area electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) motion imagery airborne surveillance to significantly improve: (i) commander"s real-time battlefield awareness, (ii) accuracy of firing power, (iii) troop maneuverability, (iv) situation and damage assessment and so on. In civil applications, these developments will enable monitoring areas that are inaccessible or dangerous for humans or delivering information to and from areas with no infrastructure (e.g., for environmental monitoring, border surveillance, emergency or disaster assistance and so on).
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