TITLE: Mast Antenna Coupler
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS 435,
Submarine Electromagnetic Systems Program Office
OBJECTIVE: Develop a modular,
enclosed antenna coupler to assist in the radio frequency (RF) testing of
imaging mast antennas.
DESCRIPTION: The Navy needs
the ability to perform an on-site pier-side test of the antenna mast without
environmental interference. Currently, no commercial technologies are capable
of performing this function. Today’s submarine electronic warfare (EW) suite,
which includes the outboard sensors, RF distribution, and inboard electronics
support measures (ESM) equipment, require system grooms as part of a maintenance
cycle. Conducting open air RF testing as a part of these grooms can be
difficult due to the congested nature of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum in
and around Navy ports. The submarine community is interested in an antenna
coupler housed in a shroud enclosure to improve radiated end-to-end testing and
calibration routines for ESM systems. Utility in grooming the submarine
imaging masts is of primary interest.
The ability to absorb or scatter incident energy in order to simulate free
space is most frequently seen in an anechoic chamber. This technology, along
with shielding mechanisms, can be harnessed to create an apparatus capable of
testing sensitive RF antennas and associated RF paths in EM environments that
would normally preclude such testing.
The shroud should be capable of accepting radio signals from a supplied RF
source and radiating the signals into the mast mounted antennas in order to
validate the full functionality of ESM system. The shroud should be capable of
operating from 2MHz to 50GHz while maintaining modularity such that it could be
adapted to accommodate multiple types of masts. The shroud has to receive and
radiate RF signals with a vertical polarization, in the operating frequencies
provided above, along a 360-degree azimuthal field of view at the horizon. The
shroud should be capable of testing GPS (L1, L2, and L5) and Iridium
functionality at zenith and provide a minimum of 70dB of attenuation from the
ambient environment over the entire operational frequency range.
In compliance with MIL-STD-810G this unit should operate during various weather
conditions i.e. rain (506.5-1 – 506.5-11), high wind speeds, humidity up to
near 100% (507.5-1 – 507.5A-1), salt air environments (509.5-1 – 509.5-10), and
temperatures varying from -10°C to +55°C (501.5-1 – 501.5-13 and 502.5-1 –
502.5-9). The unit should be only tall enough to accommodate the antennas under
test without exceeding 600% of the antenna diameter or 250% of the antenna
height. The unit should be portable, waterproof, and tearproof o the greatest
extent possible, to include a transit case to hold and transport the unit when
not in use.
The Phase II and Phase III efforts will likely require secure access, and
NAVSEA will process the DD254 to support the contractor for personnel and
facility certification for secure access. The Phase I effort will not require
access to classified information.
Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective
contractor(s) must be U.S. Owned and Operated with no Foreign Influence as
defined by DOD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating
Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented
and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor
and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level
facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced
phases of this contract as set forth by DSS and NAVSEA in order to gain access
to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United
States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected
company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M
during the advance phases of this contract.
PHASE I: Develop a concept
for an enclosure describe in the description where an antenna mast is isolated
such that RF interferers outside the enclosure do not interfere with an ongoing
test. Demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting the Navy needs and
establish that the concept can be developed into a useful product for the
Navy. Based on technical analysis, determine the ideal solution for achieving
the performance goals. The Phase I Option, if awarded, should include the
initial design specification and capabilities description to build a prototype
in Phase II. Develop a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Based on the result
of Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), develop and deliver a
prototype system with the capability to isolate an antenna mast while the shroud
is equipped and perform the functions stated in the description. Evaluate the
prototype to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined
in the description and in the Phase II SOW. Prepare a Phase III SOW to
transition the technology developed for Navy use.
It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase
II (see Description section for details).
PHASE III DUAL USE
APPLICATIONS: Support the Navy in transitioning the shroud for Navy use if
Phase II is successful and receives approval. Develop a system according to
Phase III SOW for evaluation to determine effectiveness in an operational
relevant environment. Support the Navy for test and validation to certify and
qualify the system for grooming the AN/BLQ-10B (V) and associated program of
record sensors under PMS 435 Submarine Electromagnetic Systems Program Office.
This technology could be beneficial to commercial antenna companies that use
anechoic chambers to perform tests of their products in order to verify it is
1. Abdelaziz, Abdelmonem
Abdelaziz. "Improving the Performance of An Antenna Array by Using Radar
Absorbing Cover." Progress In Electromagnetics Research Letters 1 (2008):
129-38. Web. http://www.jpier.org/PIERL/pierl01/16.07112503.pdf
2. Fenn, J. "Analysis of
phase-focused near-field testing for multiphase-center adaptive radar
systems." IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, August 1992, vol.
40, no. 8, pp. 878-887.
3. Kraz, Vladimir.
“Near-Field Methods of Locating EMI Sources.” Compliance Engineer, May/June
KEYWORDS: Radio Frequencies
from submarine masts; Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC); Radar Cross Section
(RCS); Anechoic Chamber; Antenna Mast Shroud; Electronic Warfare
** TOPIC NOTICE **
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