Carbon Fibers Dipole Chaff for Millimeter Waves
Navy SBIR FY2015.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2015.2
Topic No.: N152-082
Topic Title: Carbon Fibers Dipole Chaff for Millimeter Waves
Proposal No.: N152-082-0165
Firm: Physical Optics Corporation
1845 West 205th Street
Torrance, California 90501
Contact: Paul Shnitser
Phone: (310) 320-3088
Web Site:
Abstract: To address the Navy’s need for high radar cross section (RCS) chaff for operation in the millimeter wave frequencies, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Graphite Fiber Dipole Chaff (GFDC). This proposed chaff is based on commercially available, inexpensive metal-coated graphite fibers. Specifically, the innovation in manufacturing technology and dense chaff packaging will enable its efficient dissemination, producing a dipole cloud with a RCS exceeding 500 m^2. The GFDC will provide platform protection within the frequency range from 33 GHz to 38 GHz with the potential to extend protection to lower frequencies. It will be fully compatible with existing chaff dispensing systems. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed technology by fabricating chaff elements, estimating the RCS of the dipole cloud, and demonstrating efficient dispersion of dipole elements without agglomeration. In Phase II, POC plans to mature the manufacturing process and fabricate full-scale chaff prototypes for flight testing at a Navy test range. These flight tests will elevate the GFDC to TRL-7.
Benefits: The proposed development will improve the protection of airborne platforms against modern millimeter wave radar. It will substantially increase the difficulty for enemy radar to determine a target’s location and accurately guide weapons to the target. The proposed chaff will be relatively inexpensive and safe for the environment. The small size of the chaff’s dipoles will ensure their long suspension in the air, thus providing sufficient time for the platform to divert and avoid radar tracking. The improvements in the chaff manufacturing technology will be beneficial for other industries utilizing fiber-enforced materials: aerospace, automotive, ship building, and others.