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Militarized Airborne Very Low Frequency (VLF) Receive Antenna

Description:

OBJECTIVE: Design a new militarized airborne Very Low frequency VLF receive antenna with high sensitivity and rejection of aircraft Electromagnetic Interference (EMI). DESCRIPTION: A new VLF receive antenna technology is needed. The design will receive low signal to noise ratio VLF energy in the 14-60KHz band, through all phases of conflict in the harsh Nuclear Command Control and Communications (NC3) environment (shock, vibration, nuclear hardening). The new design will also guard against aircraft EMI that can saturate the antenna core, while minimizing size, weight, and power. The antenna design may consider multiple polarization axes to support anti-jam functions and more robust rejection of polarized EMI. Commercial laboratory grade magnetometers, which have some of the desired performance characteristics, currently exist. These magnetometers have been shown to function favorably in at least a subset of conditions a fully operational USAF VLF antenna will experience. What does not yet exist is a militarized antenna designed for USAF airborne use in a VLF receive system designed for the harsh NC3 environment (including nuclear scintillated atmosphere, jamming sources, and long distance reception). This topic does not exclude other parts of the VLF receiver system. It can begin with the militarized VLF receiving antenna, but also could include the front end electronics that interface the raw antenna signal with the receiver's signal processing subsystems. Simply designing the antenna may be too simple; designing the whole VLF receive system may be too complex for SBIR. However, a new VLF antenna technology that includes the first electronic steps in the receiver message processing may be an appropriate scope. Currently, USAF and USN are considering full replacements or modern upgrades of their fielded VLF receivers. The output of these research projects would have direct application in the next few years. PHASE I: Design or simulate a VLF receive antenna with high sensitivity and rejection of aircraft EMI. PHASE II: Build upon the work in Phase I by demonstrating the VLF receive antenna. PHASE III: Military application: VLF transmitter receive antenna with high sensitivity and rejection of aircraft EMI. Implement product from Phase II with Air Force NC2 terminal programs to meet user need. REFERENCES: 1. Engineering Village 2 - VLF communication system. Wheeler, Myron S. Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp. Publication Number: US4903036 Publication date: 02/20/1990 Kind: Utility Patent Grant 2. IEEE Xplore - Millen, E.;"A comparison of loop antennas,"Electromagnetic Compatibility, 1990. Symposium Record., 1990 IEEE International Symposium on , vol., no., pp.451-455, 21-23 Aug 1990 3. EBSCO MasterFILE Premier - Chevalier, Timothy W., Umran S. Inan, and Timothy F. Bell."Terminal Impedance And Antenna Current Distribution Of A VLF Electric Dipole In The Inner Magnetosphere."IEEE Transactions On Antennas & Propagation 56.8 (2008): 2454-2468. 4. The Nuclear Matters Handbook - http://www.acq.osd.mil/ncbdp/nm/nm_book_5_11/index.htm.
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