N222-112 TITLE: Low-profile High-Frequency Maritime Antenna
OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: Networked C3
TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics; Sensors
OBJECTIVE: Design, construct, and test a high-gain 1.5-35 MHz transmit/receive antenna to be utilized on small, low free-board maritime craft.
DESCRIPTION: Traditional High Frequency (HF) antennas are physically large and generally instantaneously single-banded for low Voltage Standing Wave Ratios (VSWR) in order to match requisite operating frequencies. For small maritime crafts such as an unmanned surface vehicle operating at or slightly below the waterline, a large tall antenna is unfeasible due to the craft's small available footprint and a traditional monopole antenna’s high center of mass would affect the craft's stability. Vertical incidence ionospheric measurements are obtained with horizontal dipole antennas. These antennas are horizontally polarized and must be instantaneously wideband supporting VSWR below 1.5:1 from 5-20MHz and better than 2:1 from 3-35MHz. Active loop antennas can provide sufficient receive signal gain but inherently become limited in their ability to transmit energy at high power due to the tuning circuitry.
PHASE I: Design and develop a concept for a lightweight low center of mass maritime antenna that achieves the technical goals in the Description. Prepare a Phase II plan.
PHASE II: Construct a HF antenna prototype. Test the prototype for a multi-week long duration in a maritime environment across the HF spectrum to assess performance of the system.
PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Transition the system via a maritime platform integration of the antenna for HF communications. The commercial sector uses HF communications as a back-up for SATCOM so this antenna could support those applications in shipboard environments.
KEYWORDS: antenna; high frequency; maritime
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