High-Strength and High-Durability Radio Frequency (RF) Transparent Structures

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-05-M-3542
Agency Tracking Number: F051-238-2277
Amount: $99,832.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: AF05-238
Solicitation Number: 2005.1
Small Business Information
360 Second Avenue, Waltham, MA, 02451
DUNS: 837612506
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Harris
 Director of Engineering
 (781) 622-5529
Business Contact
 Edward Kunkel
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Phone: (781) 622-1587
Email: ekunkel@aztex-z-fiber.com
Research Institution
CLAS Structures reduce the weight of conventional antenna systems by embedding the antennas into the load bearing composite structures. The Northrop LOBSTAR program is developing this technology for potential use on Global Hawk.This program proposes the use of a new core material developed by Aztex - K-CorT to provide a superior structural solution. CLAS structures require the use of less structurally efficient materials such as Nomex and lower modulus facesheet materials such as Astroquartz. Edge ramps and local densified areas require non-RF transparent potting compounds that degrade antenna performance. This results in lower structural efficiency and retains the inherent poor damage tolerance and environmental knockdowns associated with honeycomb. K-CorT consists of a structural array of pultruded rods in closed-cell foam. Core strength is based on the number and stiffness of the pins in the array. Properties are tailored locally to match the requirements. No potting compounds are required, truss pins extend throughout ramp transitions, local densification consists of higher density vertical pin arrays. Strength retention of impacted K-CorT is high and hot/wet properties are 92-100% of RTD. The K-CorT advantage is excellent damage tolerance, superior hot/wet capabilities, easily thermoformed and properties tailored to the requirements of the application.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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