Metamaterial-Based Electrically Small Antenna
Navy SBIR 2007.3 - Topic N07-184
NSMA - Ms. Erica Bukva -
Opens: August 20, 2007 - Closes: September 19, 2007

N07-184 TITLE: Metamaterial-Based Electrically Small Antenna

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes, Electronics

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Advanced Development Prgm Office for Navy-Unmanned Combat Air Systems ACATI

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.

OBJECTIVE: Develop electrically small antennas and arrays using the unique properites of newly discovered metamaterials to demonstrate improved efficiency-bandwith performance using design/consturction techniques that are compatible with advanced planar composite technology that will be used in future Naval aircraft.

DESCRIPTION: Meeting these demanding requirements will require research, development and application of cutting-edge technologies to develop and integrate the various antenna systems required to support surveillance sensors, communication links, navigation systems, command and control sytsems, and precision strike capabilities. Antennas and sensors to support these capabilities must be structurally integrated to provide highly survivable, yet lightweight and reliable sytems. Antenna sensors supporting many systems across a wide radio frequency (rf.) spectrum must be integrated withing the limited surface area and volum available to the N-UCAS platform.

A newly emergin class of materials, (known as metamaterials), offer significant promise in meeting these demanding N-UCAS antenna requirements. Matamaterials are manufactured materials that exhibit properties not found in nature. A significant improvement in antenna performance is predicted for a class of metamaterials exhibiting a negative electric permittivity, (ENG), a negative magnetic permeability (MNG), or both (ENG/MNG). Antennas employing metamaterials offer the revolutionary potential of overcoming restricitve efficiency-bandwith product limitations for normal material, electircally cmall antennas. (Ref. 1-4) Metamaterial antennas, if successful, would allow smaller antenna elements that cover a wider frequency range, thus making better use of available space on the N-UCAS platform. Metamaterails employed in the groundplanes surrounding antennas offers improved isolation between signal channels of multiple input-multiple outpu (MIMO) antenna arrays. Metamaterial, high-impedance, groundplances can also be used to improve the radiation efficiency, and axial radio performance of low-profile antennas located close to the groundplane surface. Metamaterails have also been used to increase the beam scanning range to cover backfire and endfire by using both the forward and backward waves in leaky wave antennas.

N-UCAS requirements for rf sensors may be enabled through the use of metamaterials by increasing the efficiency, frequency coverage, packing density and scanning flexibility of antenna arrays while reducing the channel to channel interference, size, weight and cost. Structurally integrating metamaterial based antenna arrays with advanced composites will also improve the survivability of future Naval aircraft. Current technology for low frequency antennas is limited in size, radiation efficiency, and frequency coverage.

PHASE I: Conduct research into development of electrically small, metamaterials based antennas that provide improved radiation efficiency/bandwidth product approaching or exceeding the theoretical Chu-wheeler limit for normal materials. Attntion shold be give to selecting antenna topologies that are compatible with advanced composite technologies that will be used for future Naval aircraft.

PHASE II: Develop a laboratory demonstration model of the proposed metamaterails based electrically small antenna. Demonstrate its improved radiation efficiency/bandwith product compared to comparable normal material based antennas. Develop design methodologies, automated fabrication and asmbly techniques for integration of metamaterial based antennas with advance composite technologies. Deveopl methods of performance verification and maintainability/repair of metamaterial-based composite antennas. Develop cost information and design specifications for a production device. (Note: Phase II may be classified depending upon proposal.)

PHASE III: Initiate production efforts to build the device in commerical quantities. Prepare transition packages for specific Naval platform users.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL.DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Electrically small antennas that are efficient, yet capable of covering a wide frequency band can be used for commericial telecom, communication, navigation applications for aircraft, marine and land vehicles.

REFERENCES: 1. "Metamaterial-based efficient electrically small antennas," Richard W. Ziolkowski, Aycan Erentok, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propogation, Vol. 54, No. 7, July 2006, Page(s): 2113-2130.

2. "Application of Double Negative Materials to Increase the Power Radiated by Electrically Small Antennas," R.W Ziolkowski and A.D Kipple, IEEE Trans. on Antenna and Propogation, Vol. 52, p. 2626-2640, October 2003.

3. "Reciprocity between the effects of resonant scattering and enhanced radiated power by electrically small antennas in the presence of nested metamaterial shells," R.W. Ziolkowski and A.D. Kipple, Phys. Rev. E., Vol. 72, 036602, Spet. 2005.

4. "At and beyond the Chu limit: Passive and active broad bandwith metamaterial-based efficient electrically small antennas," R.W Ziolkowski and A. Erentok, submitted to IEEE Proceeding, Ded. 2005.

KEYWORDS: metamaterials; electrically small antennas; double negative materials; left handed materials; advanced composite antenna; Chu-Wheeler limit

TPOC: Pamela Overfelt
Phone: (760)939-3958
Fax: (760)939-1409
2nd TPOC: Mike Neel
Phone: (555)555-5555

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