Variable Field-of-View Apertures for Satellite and Conformal UAV Applications
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
In this Phase I project, NanoSonic would perform trade studies for multiple antenna systems meeting the wide field-of-view and multiple beam aperture set forth in this solicitation. An initial design for a phased array and reflectarray would be performed; in this task NanoSonic would work with a major US defense prime with a long history in the military satellite industry. In establishing performance, NanoSonic would leverage current work in the development of a state-of-the-art computational electromagnetics code which is orders of magnitude fast than current simulation software; it will soon be enhanced with capabilities for modular full-wave simulation through unique algorithms. With performance parameters established, NanoSonic would examine the array configuration, beamforming, available and possibly unique materials, manufacturability, cost, launch and station-keeping requirements. With the trade study complete, NanoSonic would then construct sample antenna components using unique in-house materials. Metal RubberT technology provides lightweight, and mechanically robust deformable materials that are ideal for space applications of reflectarray and array antennas. If deformed by stowing, unexpected impact, stretching or bending, it will recover to its original shape and perform as designed. These efforts would be combined into an efficient and robust production method compatible with and eventually implemented through roll-to-roll processing. BENEFIT: The materials and processes developed and applied in this program may be used to form a variety of high performance microwave materials and devices integrated directly into lightweight polymer structural components. Such low-cost processing will allow the manufacturing of cost-competitive aerospace, electronic, optoelectronic, sensor and actuator materials, devices and integrated function structures. Conformal or free-standing, flexible RF antennas are of importance for both military and commercial applications. Lightweight antennas, low profile antennas have numerous applications for mobile and particularly the airborne and space-based communication industry; the automotive consumer market would have large potential applications. Textile antennas would find widespread application in the wearable technology sector as well. Additionally, these antennas would address DoD and law enforcement needs for communication and surveillance with reduced probability of detection. In commercial use, such antennas could be integrated into vehicle or building structures.
Small Business Information at Submission:
P.O. Box 618 Christiansburg, VA 24068
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