Microfabricated Ka-band Monopulse Antenna with Electronically Commandable Polarization Diversity

Period of Performance: 07/01/2015 - 07/01/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nuvotronics LLC
7586 Old Peppers Ferry Loop Array
Radford, VA 24141
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT:Active millimeter wave seeker antennas with multi-polarization capability are of interest for current and future precision guided weapons. Heavy rainfall, ground clutter, and modern electronic countermeasures such as low observability stealth technology all present unique challenges for target detection and discrimination. We propose the development of an advanced multi-polarization antenna targeting Ka band frequencies. Our approach merges together two enabling technologies that have been developed by Nuvotronics into a new type of seeker architecture. Dual polarized radiating elements and their associated feed networkincluding a monopulse comparator networkwill be fabricated in Nuvotronics unique PolyStrata? process to enable state of the art antenna gain and efficiency, utilizing air-dielectric micro-coax. Antenna designs will be validated by prototype hardware fabricated during Phase I.BENEFIT:The proposed technology has application to numerous weapon platforms at numerous frequency bands. Our Phase I technical approach is specifically tailored for inclusion in a multi-mode seeker (mmW, infrared and semi-active laser guidance) for next-generation self-guided munitions such as an improved Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB-II) or Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM). Identifying additional product insertion points will be a topic of our Phase I and Phase II research. ?Beyond weapon platforms, there are numerous other military and commercial applications for the active radar technologies to be developed on this program. Microwave and millimeter-wave radar systems have applicability to landing in degraded visual environment (e.g. brown-out conditions) which is a significant problem for all rotorcraft operating in the desert environments. DVE radars also have spaceborne applicability, for example, the Mars Planetary landing radars such as what is used for the Mars Science Laboratory mission. In addition to radar applications, millimeter-wave communications is receiving increasing attention. ?The hardware designs for the proposed program can be leveraged for this market space.