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V/W Band Airborne Receive Antenna


OBJECTIVE: Develop a transmit (81 to 86 GHz) and receive (71 76 GHz) airborne antenna. DESCRIPTION: Demand for military satellite communication capability continues to increase. In response, the Air Force is exploring the use of V-band (71-76 GHz) for a future high-capacity satellite downlink capability and W-band (81-96 GHz) for an uplink capability. The key risk that will be addressed by this research topic is the airborne antenna. As a pathfinder for the actual operational system, a demonstratable antenna capability will be prototyped. This unit will be airborne-qualifiable and built with best practices for the airborne application. It will include a V/W rotary joint capability. Size, weight, and power are key constraints for airborne components. For the prototype capability, the overall cost of a future operational antenna (based on the prototype design) will be considered.The polarization of the antenna will be right hand circular polarization (RHCP) on transmit (81 to 86 GHz) and left hand circular polarization (LHCP) on receive (71 to 76 GHz). The anticipated gain of a design will be greater than 52 dBi. The total efficiency of the antenna will be greater than 60%, the sidelobe suppression level will be -14 dBic or lower, and the cross polarization isolation will be greater than 20 dB. For a successful airborne qualifiable design, the airborne environment, common RTCA/DO-160 environmental conditions and test procedures shall be used during the course of the design. Some environmental constraints include an operating temperature range that will be -20 to 55 degrees Celsius, along with an intended operating altitude from sea level to 27,000 ft. The non-operating altitude will be sea level to 65,000 ft. PHASE I: Phase I will establish a thorough antenna design through modeling and simulation. The final report will outline a path to build an airborne-qualifiable antenna. PHASE II: Phase II will take the antenna design from Phase 1 and build a prototype antenna that consists of all or part of the final complete design. This prototype will verify the ability to manufacture the entire antenna for the intended purpose. This will include a rotary joint capability. PHASE III: Airborne MILSATCOM systems would benefit from high capacity satellite uplink / downlink capability at V-band and W-band. The commercial market is also interested in extending satellite service into higher frequency bands. REFERENCES: 1. Pratt, T., Bostian, C., Allnutt, J., Satellite Communications, 2nd edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2003. 2. De Fina, S., Ruggieri, M., Bosisio, A.V.,"Exploitation of the W-band for high capacity satellite communications,"IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 39, Issue 1, pp. 82 93, 2003. 3. Perrotta, G., Jebril, A., Ruggieri, M.,"Early Experiments with W-band Satellite Links,"2006 IEEE Aerospace Conference, pp. 11, 2006.
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