Flexible, Roll-Up MFS Blanket for Phased-Array Antennas

Period of Performance: 04/21/1998 - 04/12/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

ITN Energy Systems, Inc.
8130 Shaffer Parkway Array
Littleton, CO 80127
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


ITN proposes herein a revolutionary new flexible phased-array antenna blanket which promises significant mass savings over previous antenna designs, and may provide critical the breakthrough needed for a feasible, affordable SBR system.Out concept is to assemble SBR's 22m x 6m aperture using twelve 11m x 1m subarrays. Each subarray is highly integrated MFS with the following major elements:1. One-piece 11m x 1m x 0.010in composite MFS substrate.2. Nadir-side flex-circuit with radiator patches and groundplane.3. Anti-nadir-side flex-circuit with active antenna electronics.The flex-circuits are bonded to the MFS substrate, and electrical leads from the radiators pass through the substrate and interconnect to the active electronics. The resulting antenna blanket is thin, flexible and very lightweight. In addition, the entire blanket can be stowed as a roll for launch. This design offers both low-level modularity (flex-circuits) and high level modularity (subarrays), which is key to achieving the production rates and throughput required for a cost-effective SBR constellation.In this Phase I, we will address key technical issues with each MFS element, explore feasibility in the subarray integration approach, and quantify the system-level benefit of the proposed flexible, rolled-up antenna blanket.