Affordable, High-Efficiency, Low-Profile VICTS X-Band Phased Array Antenna for Tactical Aircraft

Period of Performance: 05/11/2006 - 09/30/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Thinkom Solutions, Inc.
20 Mariner Ave, Suite 50
Torrance, CA 90503
Principal Investigator


Navy tactical aircraft, such as F/A-18, P-3, EA-6, V-22 and in the near future JSF, need high data rate (e.g. T1) over-the-horizon communications capabilities in support of rapid re-targeting, reporting damage assessment, on/off-board sensor fusion and targeting, and other real-time mission critical communications. A new X-Band system, XTAR, is being considered by the Defense Department as a precursor to the Wideband Gapfiller Satellite System for use on disadvantaged platforms, such as submarines and tactical aircraft due to its ability to support these higher data rates with smaller antenna sizes. The technology challenge is to develop affordable, small, conformal (low radar cross section) antenna systems for these tactical aircraft. These antenna systems also need to support right and left circular polarizations, the ability to transmit and receive (with sufficient T-R isolation), and antenna gain of about 25dBic. The antenna system should provide performance for nearly the entire upper hemisphere of angular coverage, which requires steerable transmit and receive beams. ThinKom proposes to design & build antenna hardware using the VICTS phased array antenna technology suited for the F/A-18 E/F tactical aircraft.