Manpack antenna for Advanced MIL SATCOM

Period of Performance: 07/31/2013 - 05/01/2014

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Toyon Research Corp.
6800 Cortona Drive Array
Goleta, CA 93117
Principal Investigator

Abstract

ABSTRACT: A portable high gain (39 dBi) and lightweight (10 lbs.) manpack AEHF antenna that automatically tracks a geosynchronous AEHF communication satellite is sought. Toyon proposes an electronically reconfigurable antenna (ERA) placed in the focal region of a foldable parabolic dish with an offset focus. Toyon has repeatedly demonstrated and patented the idea that antenna properties (gain pattern, polarization pattern, and phase) can be adaptively varied using active impedance devices that are suitably placed within the ERA aperture. This will enable adaptive tracking which would be accomplished by adjusting impedance values in a systematic way. Feedback and control would be used for fine impedance adjustments to account for surface distortion effects, interference/jamming, and/or known threat directions. The reflector will be a foldable conducting mesh. This will allow for compact and safe storage of a reflector with greater than 12 inch aperture. Adaptation provides compensation for any perturbations from the ideal parabolic shape. No phase shifters or mechanical servomechanism would be used. The control of active impedance devices requires very little power (microprocessor and digital controller). Toyon has all the necessary computational EM and RF systems design software needed for Phase I. We have successfully exercised these tools on many antenna projects. BENEFIT: The result of this effort will be a light-weight AEHF high gain and self-steering antenna system. The key to this will be the ERA feed antenna system. The goal is that whole antenna structure will be foldable or collapsible for easy transport on a back pack. A considerable market is seen for such a capability that includes special operations forces as well as other ground forces. The electronic beam steering of this system may also find applications on moving platforms such as humvees, aircraft, and ships.