Multiband Metasurface for Reduced Antenna Footprint and Jamming Mitigation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-13-M-0143
Agency Tracking Number: F131-066-1419
Amount: $149,351.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: AF131-066
Solicitation Number: 2013.1
Small Business Information
1101 McMurtrie Drive NW, Building A, Huntsville, AL, -
DUNS: 622989239
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Craig Farlow
 Senior Scientist
 (256) 617-0957
Business Contact
 Michael Saylor
Title: Executive Manager
Phone: (256) 990-1641
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: The Air Force has identified the need to improve satellite communications by increasing bandwidth, yet seeks to accomplish this without increasing the antenna payload footprint and without introducing vulnerability to transmission interference or jamming. One mature and popular technology explored over the past several decades is a class of engineered materials known as frequency selective surfaces (FSSs). The characteristics of FSSs allow the same surface to be completely opaque in a certain frequency band(s) while simultaneously being completely transparent in another band(s). This property can be exploited to create antenna designs which allow multiple antennas to share the same aperture. Prior antenna based FSS solutions involve the use of gimbaled fixed beam antennas. Such systems suffer from slow switching between users and limited electrical scan, multi-beam and anti-jamming capabilities. Kord Technologies proposes to team with Digital Fusion/Kratos to address the drawbacks of prior approaches by investigating the feasibility of integrating FSSs into phased array antennas. Such antennas possess one key attribute which makes them uniquely appealing their ability to perform electrical beam steering. Utilizing electrical beam steering (rather than mechanical beam steering) is significantly more robust mechanically and also permits very fast redirection of the beam(s). BENEFIT: Kord anticipates two key results from this contract. First, we will demonstrate the ability of the antenna system to operate multiple antennas located in the same aperture, thereby reducing overall antenna footprint. We will produce a design for a breadboard prototype antenna module that can be fabricated and tested in Phase II using materials suitable for space applications. The second key result will be the ability to mitigate the adverse effects from unwanted RF signals. Based on Kord"s antenna concepts, protection from broadband jamming and radiated co-site interference effects will be an important aspect that is inherent to the design. This type of protection will be extremely valuable in preventing communication disruptions and avoiding equipment damage from a potential hostile enemy intent on interfering with a vital communication link. The phenomenology understanding obtained during Phase I will enable Kord to optimize the design during Phase II to exploit the nature of FSSs and/or photonic crystals to achieve the ability to operate multiple RF bands in a significantly reduced footprint and with inherent protection to interference sources.

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

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