Antennas for GNSS Handheld Receivers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-11-M-1086
Agency Tracking Number: F103-187-0141
Amount: $99,766.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-187
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Small Business Information
4865 Sterling Drive, Boulder, CO, -
DUNS: 125961123
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Dean Paschen
 Director of Advanced Programs
 (303) 449-5211
Business Contact
 Theresa Boone
Title: President
Phone: (303) 449-5211
Research Institution
The FIRST RF approach to the handheld antenna for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is a wide bandwidth, wide beamwidth, compact adjustable element with integrated Low Noise Amplifier (LNA). This approach uses an innovative FIRST RF design to maximize bandwidth around the GNSS 1164-1611 MHz band while minimizing volume, maintaining uniform gain, providing efficient radiation over the full upper hemisphere, and allowing low-cost manufacturing. The element design makes use of a unique, electrically small, radiator that provides efficiency and excellent pattern shape over a wide bandwidth. A LNA is integrated on the back of the antenna element in order to ensure good carrier to noise ratio, which results in better satellite acquisition, lock and positional accuracy. The overall antenna design is implemented with low cost manufacturing techniques that include individual component test and verification before integration, design margin for material and temperature variance, and use of COTS components. The antenna is baselined as a flip-out module for handheld receivers, but also offers a variety of installation options. BENEFIT: Countless military and commercial applications utilize GPS receiver units to obtain global positioning data. These units obtain data from satellites in the GPS constellation using the L1 and L2 frequency bands (1563 1587 and 1215 1240 MHz, respectively). Demand is continuing to grow for use of more satellites from the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), including the European Galileo, Russian Glonass, and the Chinese Biedou systems. This makes the systems more universal, useful and accurate. In order to accommodate this extension of application, the receiver and antenna combination must be able to operate over the additional frequency bands associated with these satellite systems. It is also equally important in man-operated applications, that these receiver / antenna combinations be portable, light, and manageable. Currently, there are a limited number of receiver and antenna vendors for these GNSS bands. Some handheld receivers have been developed that can handle the additional frequency bands, but often times the limiting factor has been the antenna. Current handheld antennas either cover only a few selective GNSS frequencies or are physically too large and cumbersome for handheld application. In order to remedy this, FIRST RF proposes to leverage their expertise to create a small, high performance, fully GNSS capable antenna for implementation in a handheld unit.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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