Long-duration wide-area surveillance missions increasingly are space-based. MEO orbits offer space-based radar systems more time on station, but require very large array apertures on the order of 100m in diameter. Achieving larger apertures with smaller, lighter launch packages and stable on-orbit pointing is a challenge that E-Textiles promises to meet. Textile processes can be used to achieve a low-cost, lightweight array capable of being stowed in a launch vehicle and deployed in orbit. During Phase I, we demonstrated the feasibility of E-Textile antennas by constructing and testing an assortment of multilayer antenna and feed modules. Copper wire and stainless steel yarns were hand-embroidered onto codura, vinyl coated canvas and fiberglass and stitched together with foam and knit spacer fabrics to form textile-based microstrip patch antennas. Our Phase II work will build this E-textile technique using computer-controlled industrial embroidering machines to build up more sophisticated arrays with tolerances and repeatability afforded by a computer-automated textile process. We will also investigate alternative E-textile methods such as nonwovens and custom metallic knits for building space-based antennas. The design will culminate in the construction of a 1m x 1m subarray that can be used to form a 4m x 100m array in a tile-architecture.
Small Business Information at Submission:
APPLIED RADAR, INC.
210 Airport Street Quonset Point North Kingstown, RI 02852
Number of Employees: