Durable & Removable Mast AppliquAcs for Tunable Radio Frequency Absorption
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-087
Topic Title: Durable & Removable Mast AppliquAcs for Tunable Radio Frequency Absorption
Proposal No.: N181-087-0505
Firm: Luna Innovations Incorporated
301 1st Street SW
Suite 200
Roanoke, Virginia 24011
Contact: Adam Goff
Phone: (434) 220-2513
Web Site: http://www.lunainc.com
Abstract: US Navy submarines use metallic masts such as Lockheedâ?Ts OE-538/BRC Multifunction Communication Mast Antenna System to communicate. Although these are highly effective, a main drawback to their use is that they can be detected by enemy radar. A prospective solution would be the application of material over existing masts that can be tuned to keep any desired band open for communication while maximally absorbing all other frequencies. This material must be environmentally stable to temperature/pressure changes, salt corrosion, and humidity. Additionally, since the mast assembly cannot be removed, the coating/material must be applied on the submarine. Luna proposes a multilayer adhesive appliquAc, with different sheets tuned to specific open frequency bands. The individual layers will contain tunable fillers and/or structures to maximally absorb unwanted frequencies while retaining the desired frequency band open. With slight modification to the formulation, the appliquAc can be tuned to different open frequency bands. Protective coatings will be applied to the sheets to achieve desired marine environmental protection. For the Phase I program Luna will combine experimental simulations, material synthesis, and radar cross-section/absorption testing, with the primary goal of demonstrating feasibility of tuning performance to the open frequency bands.
Benefits: The proposed solution would decrease the radar cross section of current submarine radomes while enhancing the communication band which can be tuned to any desired frequency. This will increase the stealth abilities of Navy submarines, enabling them to better fulfill their missions. Commercial applications could be applied to other military platform needs including surface ships, aircraft, ground vehicles, fixed critical communications facilities, as well as select civilian markets, such as electromagnetic shielding of portable electronics.