Development of Hypersonic Glide Body Deployable Antennas

Navy SBIR 22.2 - Topic N222-128
SSP - Strategic Systems Programs
Opens: May 18, 2022 - Closes: June 15, 2022 (12:00pm est)

N222-128 TITLE: Development of Hypersonic Glide Body Deployable Antennas

OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: General Warfighting Requirements (GWR); Hypersonics; Space

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platforms; Battlespace Environments; Weapons

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Develop aft-deployable antenna systems from the aft plate of hypersonic glide vehicles, with release or retraction mechanisms.

DESCRIPTION: Hypersonic vehicles have limited antenna mounting real-estate. The limited space on the available antenna real-estate limits the number of antennas and other mounted capabilities that can be employed. Fortunately, many systems do not require the use of their antenna all the time. Some only need a small period of time during the flight, some only need periodic access, and some only after glide body separation. Hence, deployable, retractable, and releasable antennas present an additional approach for managing the antennas. There is also interest in applications for relatively high gain antennas with patterns directed perpendicular to the vehicle axis. Deployable antennas are a potential solution for enabling perpendicular oriented antennas. CubeSats are analogous to hypersonic vehicles in that they are both volume constrained for antennas. Examples of CubeSat deployable antennas include helical antennas, parabolic reflectors, mesh reflectors, conical horns, and conical log spiral (CLS) [Ref 1].

This SBIR research is intended to explore innovative technical solutions that would enable the design of deployable, retractable, and releasable antennas for hypersonic vehicles. The proposed approaches must be demonstrated in analysis, simulation, or prototype. Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) requirements of the resultant system are critically important given volume limitations in the glide body. The research should be conducted with the goal of designing and demonstrating a prototype deployable antenna system. When framing the proposal, firms should utilize publicly available data on hypersonic boost-glide systems. Specific SWaP requirements will be provided upon contract award.

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 Counterintelligence Security Agency (DCSA). The selected contractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DCSA and SSP 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 advanced phases of this contract.

PHASE I: Provide a concept that will lead to the development of a deployable antenna system. Demonstrate the feasibility of that concept. All critical materials, components, and technologies must be identified and demonstrated in the lab or through clearly relevant references. Demonstrate the feasibility of the approach to provide required antenna functionality, and the usefulness to hypersonic applications. Provide modeling, simulation, and preliminary prototype results to demonstrate feasibility for anticipated applications. Size and weight trades should also be addressed.

The Phase I Option, if exercised, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype solution in Phase II.

PHASE II: Develop a prototype with enough detail for development and demonstration of a deployable antenna system, as addressed in Phase I, for a to-be-identified exemplar experiment on a sounding rocket launch. The Phase II Statement of Work (SOW) should identify a work plan that provides proof of concept that the technology has the potential to meet the performance goals highlighted in Phase I. The Phase II effort will produce at least one prototype for laboratory characterization and demonstration, and two flight ready prototypes for the sounding rocket experiment.

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: If the demonstration in Phase II is deemed to be of high interest to the government, support transition of the deployable antenna technology for government use.

The transitioned products are expected to be able to support current and future hypersonic glide body systems. Commercial hypersonic applications should be considered for transition as well. The primary objective of this project is for transition to defense contractors. To meet these needs, maturation and packaging of the technology to meet practical size, weight, and power constraints will be required.


  1. Sakovsky, Maria, Pellegrino, Sergio, Constantine, Joseph. "Rapid Deployable Antenna Concept Selection for CubeSats." Air Force Office for Scientific Research. October 2016.
  2. Constantine, Joseph; Tawk, Y; Ernest, A; Christodoulou, C.G. "Deployable antennas for CubeSat and space communications." 2012 6th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EUCAP). 01 June 2012.
  3. Chahat, Nacer; Hodges, Richard E, Sauder, Jonathan; Thomson, Mark; Peral, Eva; Rahmat-Samii, Yahya. "CubeSat deployable Ka-band mesh reflector antenna development for earth science missions." IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation. 24 March 2016. Accessed September 2021.

KEYWORDS: Hypersonics; Deployable Antennas; RF communications; alternative navigation; Retractable Antennas; Enabling Technologies


The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the overall DoD 22.2 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at for any updates.

The DoD issued its 22.2 SBIR BAA pre-release on April 20, 2022, which opens to receive proposals on May 18, 2022, and closes June 15, 2022 (12:00pm est).

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