Reduced Hazard Plasma Antenna
Navy SBIR FY2014.1
||Navy SBIR FY2014.1|
||Reduced Hazard Plasma Antenna|
||Haleakala R&D, INC.|
7 Martin Road
Brookfield, Massachusetts 01506-1762
||Haleakala R&D, INC. will develop an innovative plasma antenna that provides high voltage protection to reduce the risk of electrical shocks from low overhead wires for dismounted radio. This plasma antenna will provide equivalent or better radiation pattern and omnidirectional gain as existing handheld or man pack radio antennas. It will also be made of a flexible plastic tube or blade with tiny glass beads lined on the inside of the plastic tube or blade to give flexibility collapsibility, storability, and stowability in a back pack or other means. It can be painted a camouflage color to diminish visibility. The plasma need only be turned on while is use and while not in use (plasma extinguished) it does not conduct current. The plasma is in a nonconductive, dielectric tube or blade which provides high voltage protection to reduce the risk of electrical shocks from low overhead wires for dismounted radio whether the plasma is on or extinguished. The plasma antenna which has the same shape, size and frequencies as a metal antenna will give the same radiation patterns as a corresponding metal antenna but with lower thermal noise and lower side lobes. The plasma antennas have reconfigurable properties that metal antennas do not. The simplest reconfigurablity is that the plasma can be extinguished when not in use while the metal in a metal antenna is always there and cannot be extinguished.|
||Haleakala R&D will support the Marine Corps in transitioning the plasma antenna technology for Marine Corps use. Haleakala R&D will develop a plasma antenna for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. Haleakala R&D will support the Marine Corps for test and validation to certify and qualify the plasma antenna system for Marine Corps use. Haleakala R&D will commercialize the plasma antenna technology to municipalities, law enforcement, and first responders who also use radios sharing the same radio bands. A plasma antenna of reduced size antenna with superior range and performance would also be attractive to these applications. Such plasma antenna applications could be both applied to both handheld or vehicle mounted applications.
Commercial Technology Overview:
Unlike metal antennas, plasma antennas can be turned on and off. When turned on, plasma antennas are fully functional RF devices. However, when turned off, they neither emit nor receive RF signals, and they can be invisible to radar, making them electronically undetectable. This feature improves security over their metal counterparts and makes plasma antennas ideal for stealth applications. Plasma antennas can be developed using conventional materials and manufacturing techniques similar to those used to manufacture fluorescent lighting, neon lighting, and other existing industrial products. The gases and materials contemplated for use in gaseous plasma antennas and smart plasma antennas are inert, and/or they are prevalent in the atmosphere. The initial introduction and ongoing manufacturing costs of gaseous plasma antennas will be relatively low. The technology will not initially introduce new substances that might require exceptional environmental certification or pose unforeseen technical manufacturing hurdles with an unfamiliar manufacturing process (on-the-fly).
1. Smart TV plasma antennas to meet the change over into digital airwaves.
Dave Wilson, senior director of Consumer Electronics Association, saw our smart plasma antenna prototype work at the Austin antenna conference in September and believes we should have a market in the smart TV antenna market. We have looked at other smart antennas that address this area and we are convinced that ours is superior. GE and RCA have put commercial civilian smart antennas on the market recently to address the 2009 changeover to digital airwaves. Our smart plasma antenna capabilities are superior in many was to the other smart TV antennas. Our smart plasma antenna can steer the antenna beam 360 degrees and the competition cannot. Our smart plasma antenna has a reconfigurable beamwidth . The competition does not. Our smart plasma antenna has higher bandwidth than the bandwidths of the competition.
We give some information on the smart TV antennas from GE and Audiovox taken from their websites in the competition section below.
2. Smart plasma antennas as RFID readers
We have determined advantages that the smart plasma antenna can have over other RFID antennas based on smart phased array technology. These advantages that our smart plasma antenna can have over smart phased array antennas for RFID applications are:
1. Our smart plasma antenna has the ability to steer (scan) antenna beams 360 degrees in milliseconds. We are aware of how to do it in microseconds. Competition cannot steer 360 degrees.
2. Our smart plasma antenna beam can change direction without scanning in milliseconds. For example: from 0 to 180 degrees in milliseconds
3. Reconfigurable beamwidth. Competition cannot do this.
4. Broader bandwidth than phased arrays by using broadband omnidirectional antenna in the center such as a biconical antenna. In addition, bandwidth can be reconfigured for use in US , Europe, etc. Competition cannot do this.
5. Less costs than phased array RFID antennas. We only need one antenna and we do not need phase shifters. Competition uses phased array RFID readers.
6. Our smart plasma antenna is more compact and less cumbersome than phased array RFID antennas.
than phased array RFID antennas. We only need one antenna and we do not need phase shifters. Competition uses phased array RFID readers.
7. Our smart plasma antenna is light weight: weighs about 10 pounds. Competition uses phased array RFID readers which are much heavier and larger.
8. Our smart plasma antenna can read vertical horizontal, and circular polarizations by reconfiguration of plasma antennas. Competition cannot do this.
3. Superior fixed satellite plasma antennas and satellite plasma antennas for RVs and yachts.
We are working on some initial experiments that may lead to an agreement with a company to develop smart plasma satellite antennas in the Ku and Ka bands.
The current markets for smart antennas for WIMAX is given in appendix . West, Kirsten; Principal Analyst, West Technology Research, "Smart Antenna Technology Review", Antenna Systems & Technology, 2008 Resource Guide, pages 4 and 6.
5. 3 G and 4 G
The current markets for smart antennas for 3 G is given in appendix . West, Kirsten; Principal Analyst, West Technology Research, "Smart Antenna Technology Review", Antenna Systems & Technology, 2008 Resource Guide, pages 4 and 6.
The current markets for smart antennas for Wi-Fi is given in appendix . West, Kirsten; Principal Analyst, West Technology Research, "Smart Antenna Technology Review", Antenna Systems & Technology, 2008 Resource Guide, pages 4 and 6.
7. Smart plasma antennas to replace omni directional wireless access point antennas in big box stores such as Walmart, CVS, Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy, etc.
These stores utilized sometime 6-30 Omni directional wireless access point also known as "AP's". The AP's are extremely inefficient and have a high total cost of ownership with data security standard such as PCI compliance mandating encryption key rotation every 6 months.
Major tier one retails utilize wireless infrastructure to drive business initiatives such as markdown, inventory, and price lookup. The big box stores such as Walmart, CVS, Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy etc. utilized sometime 6-30 Omni directional wireless access point also known as "AP's". The AP's are extremely inefficient and have a high total cost of ownership with data security standard such as PCI compliance mandating encryption key rotation every 6 months. What if major retailers had another wireless solution besides 6+ Omni directional wireless AP's? Why wouldn't they utilize a technology that would drive their TCO lower over time? Why wouldn't they want to only maintain 1-2 devices at stores? The smart plasma antenna could fit the technology needs of this extremely large customer base. By leveraging 1 to 2 plasma antenna's at larger than 40,000 sq ft buildings plasma antenna technology would reduce cost s for retailers, warehouses, distribution centers, convention centers, arenas, airports, and malls.
High-speed wireless networking under constraints of limited spectrum, non-line-of-sight issues remains a challenging problem. Current systems (eg: 3G and 4G networks) promise a maximum of about 2 Mbps, shared among users. Smart antennas, in combination with appropriate modulation and medium-access-control (MAC) schemes, promises to break this bandwidth barrier, and lower costs. Our plasma antennae technology represents a disruptive technology in that it will provide the customer with increased bandwidth along with unprecedented security via its directionality.
Target Market: The technology and products being developed at Haleakala are designed to appeal to anyone interested in increased security and flexible wireless technology. Hence, we expect strong initial interested from the military and other government establishments
Commercial Technology Overview:
We have designed a smart plasma antenna and we see its commercialization for phase III work as follows: Smart plasma a|