Antennas and Antenna Radomes with Extreme Thermal Shock Resistance for Missile Applications
PROGRAM: PEO IWS 3A, STANDARD Missile Program Office
technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in
Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and
import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive
technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts
730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use
of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or
work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for
accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement.
Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be
restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.
Develop conformal antenna and antenna cover (i.e., radome) materials that
provide stable antenna performance in increasingly demanding flight
Evolving weapons technology is driving missiles and other flight vehicles to
greater speeds and higher accelerations. The result of increased speed and
acceleration is higher temperatures and thermal stresses. For instance, with
vehicles traveling over Mach 4, surface temperatures can reach 1,500°C or
higher. Rapid acceleration can result in extreme thermal gradients, which
translate to high stresses. These increases require changes in materials to
meet or exceed requirements to negate the effects on missile antennas and
The Navy needs new materials that package missile antennas in conformal
configurations that can withstand these demanding new flight environments.
These configurations may be with the antenna either directly on the vehicle
surface or behind a conformal antenna radome. Flight environments include shock
at launch (e.g., 30,000g for gun-launched projectiles), acceleration from zero
to over Mach 5 in milliseconds to seconds, altitude of flight from sea level to
200,000 feet, and flight through adverse weather (e.g., rain, sleet). Most
applications are limited by size and shape profile constraints (e.g., airframe
fitting in its canister).
The primary focus of this SBIR topic is advanced materials, which would enable
use of radomes or conformal antennas in more aggressive environments. The
material property sets required for these two applications have substantial
overlap, which means an advanced material may be useful for both, but optimal
for one in particular. The Navy believes that the existing designs for radomes
and conformal antennas are adequate, and that materials are the limiting factor
in increasingly aggressive environments. There are specific material
properties, namely dielectric constant and loss tangent, which need to be low
(preferably below 5 and .05 respectively). While proposals describing advanced
materials are anticipated, an engineering solution that allows use of existing
state-of-the-art materials in extended service will be considered.
Antenna and radome materials must provide for stable performance over the
duration of its flight. Thermal shock is particularly difficult and can cause
expansion of the outer surface during acceleration, thereby impacting both
antenna electrical performance and material structural integrity. In addition,
it is anticipated that future antenna applications will require frequency
selective surfaces for electrical performance. These conductive patterns add
requirements for surface smoothness and outer surface protection. The
incorporation of a pattern layer, and any associated coatings, may further
complicate the thermal shock performance. Possible applications for the desired
technology include tactical missiles, long-range guided projectiles, and
I: Develop a concept for conformal antenna and radome materials that meets the
parameters in the Description. Demonstrate that the concept can feasibly meet
the requirements in the Description. Demonstrate feasibility through analysis,
modeling, and experimentation of materials of interest to meet the parameters
in the Description. Develop a Phase II plan. The Phase I Option, if exercised,
will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to
build a prototype solution in Phase II.
II: Develop models to produce notional full-scale prototypes that will be
delivered at the end of Phase II. Demonstrate that the prototype can function
under the required service conditions including thermal and mechanical stresses
as stated in the Description. Perform testing that includes high-temperature
mechanical tests, thermal shock tests, electrical tests, non-destructive
testing, and microstructural examinations to show the prototype will meet Navy
performance requirements. It is expected that offerors will propose technology
solutions with the highest capability they can imagine, and will test to show
III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology for
Navy use in future missile development. Support the manufacturing of the
components via the technology developed under this topic, and assist in
extensive qualification testing defined by the Navy program.
Potential commercial uses for high-speed antenna performance improvements are
in the commercial spacecraft and satellite communications industries. The
materials appropriate for this topic should have lower thermal expansion and
higher erosion resistance than polymeric antenna materials, making them
attractive for satellite applications where differential expansion from solar
heating and erosion from micrometeorite impact are concerns.
Kasen, Scott D. “Thermal Management at Hypersonic Leading Edges.” PhD Thesis,
University of Virginia, 2013. http://www.virginia.edu/ms/research/wadley/Thesis/skasen.pdf
Johnson, Sylvia. "Ultra High Temperature Ceramics: Application, Issues and
Prospects.” American Ceramic Society, 2nd Ceramic Leadership Summit, Baltimore,
MD, August 3, 2011. http://ceramics.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/applicatons-uhtc-johnson.pdf
Atherton, Kelsey. “The Navy Wants To Fire Its Ridiculously Strong Railgun From
The Ocean.” Popular Science, 8 April 2014.
Walton, J.D. “Radome Engineering Handbook.” Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York,
Missiles; Guided Projectiles; Antenna Radomes; Antennas; Thermal Shock; Missile
** TOPIC NOTICE **
These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2019.1 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2019.1 BAA SBIR pre-release on November 28, 2018, which opens to receive proposals on January 8, 2019, and closes February 6, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET.
Between November 28, 2018 and January 7, 2019 you may communicate directly with the Topic Authors (TPOC) to ask technical questions about the topics. During these dates, their contact information is listed above. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is not allowed starting January 8, 2019 when DoD begins accepting proposals for this BAA.
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