High Voltage Antenna Protection for Hand-held and Man-pack Radios

Period of Performance: 04/28/2016 - 02/28/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Qortek, Inc.
1965 Lycoming Creek Road Array
Williamsport, PA 17701
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


In order to be an effective EM radiator, monopole antennas must be ideally wavelength. For HF frequencies, this can result in a significantly long radiator. This long radiator, when deployed, can accidentally contact a HV source such as an overhead power line. The results of such a contact can be devastating for the radio operator and potentially nearby soldiers. Because of this threat, a simple solution has been to deploy the antennas with a protective covering. Although effective, this approach leads to a bulky and cumbersome solution. To overcome this issue, QorTek proposes to modify currently used whip and blade-type antennas to avoid catastrophic HV contact. The proposed method involves inserting a mechanical fuse-like element between the antenna components with an additional protection being provided by a high voltage capacitor. This simple device will easily include itself within the multi-component whip antenna while requiring slight modification for insertion into the blade antenna. Upon contact, the mechanical fuse element will trigger instantly removing the contact point and thereby avoiding dangerous consequences. With this modification being an add-on, the damaged end can be quickly replaced to yield full-service capability or the antenna can continue to be continued to be used with reduced radiating efficiency.