Antennas for GNSS Handheld Receivers

Period of Performance: 03/30/2012 - 06/30/2014

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

ABSTRACT: There are currently no antennas available for handheld receivers or other military systems that efficiently cover the full GNSS spectrum with broad, stable patterns and consistent performance over frequency. During the first phase of this program we designed, optimized and built working hardware of a wideband design covering the full 1160 1600 MHz spectrum. The antenna is very compact and can fold and stow inside a handheld receiver. The antenna is configured with a Low Noise Amplifier and power biasing circuitry, and can also be configured to support dual polarizations. The RF performance and efficiency push the Chu-Harrington limits for this size aperture. FIRST RF has paid careful attention to the integration details, manufacturing approach and overall affordability of the antenna. The design adheres to our core manufacturing principles, which means the design can remain cost competitive with overseas manufacturers in a production environment. In Phase II, FIRST RF will optimize the RF design through computer modeling and simulation, and engineering prototype construction. We will advance the design through to a TRL 6-7 by performing environmental and operational tests. These include thermal, vibration and EMI tests as needed. BENEFIT: There are currently no antennas available for handheld receivers or other military systems that efficiently cover the full GNSS spectrum with broad, stable patterns and consistent performance over frequency. The proposed technology offers the RF performance and stowability required for handheld applications, as well as the stable amplitude and phase performance over frequency and angle required by CRPAs. The antenna can be configured to offer dual Right Hand and Left Hand Polarization for earth science and other missions. Finally, the technology adheres to manufacturing principles which render it cost competitive with price targets for volume electronics manufacturing.