V/W Band Airborne Receive Antenna
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
ABSTRACT: As intelligence and sensor systems become more complex, the amount of data being transferred increases. Naturally, this calls for a higher bandwidth communication backbone in the field. This demand has spawned a requisite for an airborne antenna supporting satellite communication at V/W band. The target platform for this antenna is a large UAV, such as the Predator or Reaper. The major design challenges of this topic stem from the high gain requirement and airborne platform. The antenna must steer and track with a very narrow beam while minimizing Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) to support the platform. It also must survive the environmental conditions described in RTCA/DO-160. FIRST RF proposes a novel two-axis mechanically steered aperture system for the V/W-Band Data Link. This concept offers reliability and performance in a compact package that is compatible with airborne platforms. The proposed system enables precision tracking without requiring beam motion, such as with sequential lobe (or conical scanning) systems. To control risk to the program and the overall design, FIRST RF has budgeted to produce a scaled prototype of the proposed design during the Phase I program. BENEFIT: Benefits of the proposed approach include low manufacturing cost, light weight, a balanced center of mass, improved reliability, a built in signal tracking module. In addition to the airborne SATCOM application described here, this architecture will support emerging requirements for millimeter-wave mobile data backhaul enabling smaller, higher density network cells. V-band and W-band have been considered for this application because of the size of unlicensed spectrum as well as the low atmospheric loss. The proposed architecture meets the requirements of this potentially very lucrative application.
Small Business Information at Submission:
FIRST RF CORPORATION
5340 Airport Blvd. Boulder, CO 80301-
Number of Employees: