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Conformal Antennas for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-12-C-1352
Agency Tracking Number: F103-172-0140
Amount: $749,805.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-172
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2012
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2012-01-25
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
5340 Airport Blvd.
Boulder, CO -
United States
DUNS: 125961123
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Dean Paschen
 Program Manager
 (303) 449-5211
Business Contact
 Theresa Boone
Title: President
Phone: (303) 449-5211
Research Institution

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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