Improved mini Ku band antenna for TCDL

Period of Performance: 10/22/2008 - 04/21/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

First RF Corp.
5340 Airport Blvd. Array
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator


Current airborne datalink systems often suffer from dropped links when the aircraft maneuvers and the antenna s main beam points away from the ground- or air- based receive node. The result is an interrupted mission. An antenna system is required that is lightweight, compact and ruggedized which provides constant hemispherical coverage even during aircraft maneuver scenarios. FIRST RF has a unique solution to this problem combining novel RF aperture techniques and mechanical stabilization that provides a hemispherical gain pattern always pointed towards the earth. This approach incorporates multiple antenna apertures with an appropriate power distribution network which outputs a constant power envelope to the air or ground node. The FIRST RF approach is portable to Army air assets both large and small, though the proposed approach specifically considers Shadow as its target platform, due to the increased restraints on size, weight and power aboard this platform. To this end, FIRST RF has developed a truly novel yet affordable and robust system which provides Army with a new capability.