Disposable/Survivable Antenna Technology

Period of Performance: 09/14/2006 - 09/14/2008

$730K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Scientific Applications & Research Associates
6300 Gateway Dr. Array
Cypress, CA 90630
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Application of high-power radiofrequency (HPRF) energy via placing an antenna directly near a hostile target enables delivery of maximum RF power and energy to the target. Since this also puts the antenna in harm s way, it needs to be low-cost and logistically-compact enough to be disposable and field-replaceable. A high average power (multi-kW), broadband VHF/UHF (200-800 MHz) antenna with a well-defined forward beam (G~6-8 dB), that stows compactly, is inexpensive, and easy/fast to deploy, is required. In Phase I, we showed the suitability of a novel inflatable laminate-based conical log-spiral antenna (producing a circularly-polarized beam) for this application. Our analyses and experiments showed that even if constructed with thin, lightweight, flexible, and low-cost laminates, multi-kW RF average powers (and higher peak powers) should be supportable. In Phase II, we will improve on our draft antenna and balun designs and will build and deliver one or more functioning prototypes. We will continue the multi-pronged R&D attack begun under Phase I, employing: (1) established antenna design principles; (2) expert selection and assessment of materials; (3) detailed 3D numerical models used iteratively to characterize and optimize RF and structural behavior; and (4) experiments to validate and quantify all the key performance characteristics.