Synthesis and Realization of Broadband Magnetic Flux Channel Antennas
Navy SBIR 2015.2 - Topic N152-081
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Moore - navair.sbir@navy.mil
Opens: May 26, 2015 - Closes: June 24, 2015

N152-081          TITLE:  Synthesis and Realization of Broadband Magnetic Flux Channel Antennas

TECHNOLOGY AREAS:  Sensors

ACQUISITION PROGRAM:   PMA 234 Next Generation Jammer

OBJECTIVE:  Design and develop frequency-independent geometries for magnetic flux-channel antennas that are conformal to aircraft surfaces. Solutions are required for line-of-sight and SATCOM applications that are low-profile and achieve higher gain than currently available solutions.

DESCRIPTION:  Significant advances have been made recently in the development of magnetic antennas. These antennas are magnetic duals of electric antennas, which allow them to be mounted directly on an aircraft surface. No frequency-dependent backing-cavities are required, which allows true frequencyindependent operations. Flux channels in the form of magnetic rings have been shown to replace vertical elements and crossed-linear dipoles. In both cases, no hull penetrations are required save for the feed points, and the external presentation is minimized. However, application to the curved surfaces of aircraft has yet to be addressed. Issues involved are related to the tape-winding process that has been used to manufacture the channels. This process resists conforming to curved surfaces. Designs are required that can be applied to singly and doubly curved surfaces such as those found on aircraft. There is also opportunity here to arrange the geometries to adjust antenna pattern characteristics. The solutions will need to operate over a decade of frequency in the 3 – 600 MHz (MegaHertz) band with frequency-independent characteristics in both impedance and radiation pattern. The antenna should attain a gain greater than 0 dBi and a Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) equal to or better than 2.5:1 over at least the upper two octaves of the band. The design should be extendable to other and wider frequency bands for both line-ofsight and satellite communications applications. The primary objective of this solicitation is to extend the capabilities of magnetic-current radiators by constructing frequency-independent geometries. A secondary objective is to consider electrically small antennas and high-power antennas. Using the science and current development state are described by Sebastian in the references [1, 2]. 

PHASE I:  Determine technical feasibility and develop an approach for frequency-independent geometries for magnetic flux-channel antennas that are conformal to aircraft surfaces and designed to meet the performance requirements in the description section. Prove feasibility through analysis and simulation.

PHASE II:  Further develop design from Phase I through additional analysis and simulation. Design, manufacture, integrate, and demonstrate the operation of a prototype on a simulated aircraft body to establish practical performance parameters. Based on these results, propose any refinements to the antenna design and fabrication approach and determine the trade-off between cost, weight, and gain-bandwidth performance. Address fabrication cost and volume challenges that are relevant to the general application to aircraft. 

PHASE III:  Finalize the design from Phase II, perform relevant testing and transition the technology to appropriate Navy and commercial platforms. The small business will support the Navy with certifying and qualifying the antenna for Naval use. As appropriate, the small business will focus on scaling up manufacturing capabilities and commercialization plans.

REFERENCES:  

1.                T. Sebastian, R. Diaz, D. Auckland and C. Daniel, “A New Realization of an Efficient Broadband Conformal Magnetic Current Dipole Antenna”, presented at the IEEE AP-S/USNC Symposium on Antennas and Propagation, July 2013, http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/.

2.                T. Sebastian, “Magneto-dielectric Wire Antennas Theory and Design”, Arizona State University, PhD Dissertation, May 2013.

             

KEYWORDS:  Antennas; wide-bandwidth antennas; low profile antennas; conformal antennas; magnetic materials; flux-channel antennas

TPOC:  (301)342-9167

2nd TPOC:  (301)757-8923

** TOPIC AUTHOR (TPOC) **
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