High Gain Common Data Link (CDL) Antennas for Networking UAV Nodes
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-007
Topic Title: High Gain Common Data Link (CDL) Antennas for Networking UAV Nodes
Proposal No.: N131-007-0094
5340 Airport Blvd.
Boulder, Colorado 80301
Contact: Ian Rumsey
Phone: (303) 449-5211
Web Site: firstrf.com
Abstract: In this Phase I effort, FIRST RF will develop and evaluate concepts enabling highly directive multi-beam TCDL communications using phased arrays integrated on the Fire Scout UAV platform. Phased array systems allow for dynamic beam steering with graceful degradation. Wide elevation patterns desirable for air-to-air or air-to-ground communications are achieved by using a linear array topology. These arrays also have the benefit of a narrow azimuth radiation pattern conducive to point-to-point communications and networking waveforms. Highly selective filters isolate TCDL uplink and downlink channels and allows for multi-beam functionality as well as the ability to simultaneously transmit and receive on each channel. FIRST RF proposes an innovative approach that leverages innovative phased array architecture to provide a highly functional TCDL communications node with multi-beam capability. Commercial applications of this technology have also been identified.
Benefits: FIRST RF's approach features a low cost, light weight, and highly modular phased array system. Advance RF electronics allow the system to either receive or transmit across the entire TCDL band. This size of this system allows it to be used not only on the Fire Scout, but on a variety of manned and unmanned platforms. The Ku-band spectrum has dual use applications. Commercial applications of this technology have been identified by FIRST RF.