Conformal Antenna Technology for Improved Signal Intelligence (SIGINT)

Period of Performance: 08/01/2014 - 11/01/2016

$731K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Judd Strategic Technologies, LLC
2255 Ridge Road Suite 302D
Rockwall, TX 75087
Principal Investigator

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Phase II of this program aims to provide a concrete demonstration of the SIGINT system targeted for the C-130J what was designed during Phase I. Phase II will build on the antenna and array design that JST developed during Phase I, by improving the antenna array model against the full metallic structure of the aircraft; which includes shadowing, RF blockage, and mutual coupling. Additionally, real (scaled) antenna patterns will be measured to verify full 360 degree azimuth coverage of the individual sub-arrays. We propose constructing a 1:10 scale model of a C-130J and outfitting with it a scaled version of the designed array. This antenna array will be refined and modified to fit the model, as well a minimizing actual strong coupling and potential RF shorting to metal rib elements, on both the wings and stabilizers. After the scale model is constructed and fitted with the antenna array, necessary RF backend components will be placed inside the model and tested as well. The refined antenna array design will be fabricated and tested in an anechoic chamber for both gain and pattern performance, as well as overall DF performance. Our Phase II findings will be presented in a comprehensive final report. BENEFIT: SIGINT capabilities on the AC/MC-130J provide a clear benefit to warfighter by either augmenting weapons targeting accuracies or providing high accuracy threat detection capabilities for the warfighter. While the Air Force is the most immediate beneficiary of this technology, Phase I of this program explored the feasibility of enabling the SIGINT technology on other large metal platforms. Other platforms for other branches of the DoD could also be retrofitted with SIGINT. Most metal platforms with removable leading edges and a dorsal fairing would be good candidates for this capability. Phase I of this program determined that the results of the C-130 study could be used as the foundation to migrate the DF capabilities to other platforms such as the C-17, the P-8 etc. We will also continue to consider approaches for using system design to exploit capabilities such as EW, bistatic radar, directed communications.