CFOAMr Enclosures for Electronic Warfare (EW) Antenna Systems

Period of Performance: 08/10/2004 - 02/10/2005

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
The Millennium Centre Array
Triadelphia, WV 26059
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The Navy has a need for an innovative, cost effective replacement of Electronic Warfare (EW) system antenna enclosures to meet an extended service life and source newly constructed systems. These enclosures serve to protect detection electronics from severe marine environments. The enclosures are presently constructed of a mix of aluminum, fiberglass and stainless steel sealed with rubber gaskets. An additional electromagnetic interference (EMI) package is internally used to protect against other ship's electronics. This mix of materials combined with seawater creates a galvanic cell resulting in severe corrosion, which degrades the effectiveness of the EMI shielding. Complex shipboard system repair is cost prohibitive, and new designs are now being investigated. Touchstone Research Laboratory has a carbon foam material called CFOAMr, which is an inexpensive, lightweight, and easily machined foam produced from coal. CFOAM can be tailored to provide structures that can address many advanced antenna enclosure development technical issues: electromagnetic (EMI) protection, corrosion resistance, small Radar Cross Section (RCS), and many additional enhanced structural properties. This effort will identify and develop specific CFOAM applications for EW antenna enclosure concepts that will comply with all military environmental requirements.