Conformal Antennas for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$749,805.00
Award Year:
2012
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
FA8650-12-C-1352
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
F103-172-0140
Solicitation Year:
2010
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF103-172
Solicitation Number:
2010.3
Small Business Information
5340 Airport Blvd., Boulder, CO, -
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
Y
Duns:
125961123
Principal Investigator:
Dean Paschen
Program Manager
(303) 449-5211
dpaschen@firstrf.com
Business Contact:
Theresa Boone
President
(303) 449-5211
tboone@firstrf.com
Research Institute:
Stub




Abstract
ABSTRACT: Conformal, wideband and low frequency antennas are a persistent source of research and development for military and commercial integrators, particularly airframe integrators. Generally, conformal antennas are either narrow band or inefficient. Low frequency antennas are usually large and not conformal. The intense research in metamaterials for antenna applications over the past decade has been focused on reducing the size and footprint of antennas, allowing for conformal installation of antennas that otherwise would remain as drag inducers on aircraft. But, if the performance benefits of these materials are to be realized, they need to become lighter and more affordable. Otherwise, they are too heavy and too expensive to fly aboard UAVs. During Phase I of this program, FIRST RF validated the performance of a lower cost and lighter weight alternative metamaterial for use in the design of a communications antenna and a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) antenna. We have measured data supporting our fundamental claim that there are manufacturable and fieldable conventional metamaterials. The Phase II program that we propose here will be focused on putting the Phase I research into action by building application specific hardware for both a communications antenna and for an ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) antenna. BENEFIT: The benefits of this technology start with the affect the technology has on conformal antenna operating near a ground plane. Most low frequency and/or broadband antennas are not able to operate conformally because of the band limited nature of operation in proximity to a ground plane. Metamaterial research for antenna applications has been very focused on allowing conformal antennas to operate at low frequencies and over broad bandwidths. But physical embodiments of many metamaterials are very expensive and very heavy. The proposed technology is a low cost and lightweight alternative to these materials, benefitting conformal antenna and airframe designers, as well as general users of metamaterials for conformal applications.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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