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Missile Aft Antenna (MAA) Design Rearrangement


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Info Systems, Ground Sea, Materialssensors, Electronics, Space Platforms, Weapons 

OBJECTIVE: Develop a missile aft antenna that accommodates a centered bulkhead through hole. 

DESCRIPTION: This topic seeks potential physical rearrangement of missile propulsion systems and mechanical structures aboard missiles to ultimately expand the targeted battlespace to satisfy missile defense goals. Conventional centered bulkhead placement of a missile aft antenna (MAA) requires improvement for various applications in order to achieve enhanced maneuverability requirements. The approach is to establish a MAA design/arrangement that accommodates a centered bulkhead through hole, such as conformal antenna placement within a heat shield. The design/arrangement needs to maintain optimal system performance for radio frequency (RF) data transfer through substantial launch, separation, and maneuvering events that have heat and dynamic loads on the vehicle. The design/arrangement will survive exposure to a spectrum of environments consistent with different atmospheric conditions during flight. The new antenna design/arrangement should avoid disrupting the functionality of any other vehicle hardware during flight. The MAA should be operational with multiple bands such as X- and S-Bands to provide aspect angle coverage, radiate and receive radar messages. The MAA would be incorporated as part of a larger missile tactical communication network, including other antennas and a communication transponder capable of receiving uplink and transmitting downlink messages. A new aft antenna would be subjected to strict requirements for frequency and bandwidth in addition to operational survivability conditions.  

PHASE I: Develop a proof concept for a multi-frequency (X- and S-bands) MAA capable of receiving uplink and transmitting downlink messages allowing for a centered aft bulkhead through hole. Verify expected performance through modeling and analysis. 

PHASE II: Develop a prototype that meets government provided specifications and that can be integrated into a missile vehicle and show uplink and downlink performance through dense rocket exhaust plumes. Verify prototype performance through, but not limited to, high-fidelity modeling and Radio Frequency (RF) chamber testing. Deliverable should be a feasible design and corresponding prototype. 

PHASE III: Mature the prototype via component testing to a system-level test (ground and/or flight tests). 





KEYWORDS: Antenna, RF, Radio Frequency, Antenna, Conformal, Multi-band, X-band, S-band, Missile, Multi-frequency 

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