Ballistic Radomes for SATCOM Antennas

Period of Performance: 01/11/2006 - 07/11/2005

$119K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

JEM Engineering, LLC
8683 Cherry Lane Array
Laurel, MD 20707
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Radomes mounted on tactical combat vehicles, such as the HMMWV, Stryker, and On-The-Move Future Combat Systems (FCS) platforms, must be designed to withstand ballistic impacts in the field. Current radome designs are not capable of providing ballistic protection to antenna systems, which can lead to loss of communication for the vehicle when under fire. The proposed program will develop antenna radomes that demonstrate both RF performance and ballistic protection capability for SATCOM applications. The proposed radome designs will incorporate materials with high levels of energy absorption under ballistic impact in constructions that meet the performance requirements, which are to minimize distortion of the antenna pattern at frequencies between 20 and 45.5 GHz while being as light as possible and providing sufficient ballistic protection. Simulation tools will be used to model the RF performance for a given radome construction, state-of-the-art optimization tools will be used to enhance performance, and material tests on small samples of ballistic material will be used to downselect and optimize the radome design. Selected radome designs will be fabricated for RF testing and subsequent ballistic testing in the Option phase.