High Gain Common Data Link (CDL) Antennas for Networking UAV Nodes

Period of Performance: 08/09/2014 - 08/15/2016


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

First RF Corp.
5340 Airport Blvd. Array
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator


In this Phase II effort, FIRST RF will demonstrate array technology enabling highly directive multi-beam TCDL communications using phased arrays integrated on the FireScout UAV platform. Phased array systems allow for dynamic beam steering with graceful degradation. Wide elevation patterns desirable for air-to-air or air-to-ground communications are achieved by using a linear array topology. These arrays also have the benefit of a narrow azimuth radiation pattern conducive to point-to-point communications and networking waveforms. Highly selective filters isolate TCDL uplink and downlink channels and allows for multi-beam functionality as well as the ability to simultaneously transmit and receive on each channel. FIRST RF proposes an innovative approach that leverages innovative phased array architecture to provide a highly functional TCDL communications node with multi-beam capability. Commercial applications of this technology have also been identified.