Broadband phased array blade antenna

A pair of lightweight, modified-shape dipole blades that avoid the detrimental interaction of the radiated fields with the aircraft


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The aviation industry has a number of airborne antennas used with different airborne amplifiers and covering a broad range of frequencies. However, most of the antennas, especially those covering lower frequency bands, provide less than optimal pattern coverage and thus reduced Effective Radiated Power (ERP) performance.

This is mainly due to a strong interaction between the antenna radiation fields and the aircraft wings or fuselage at lower operating frequencies. At these lower frequencies, the aircraft itself becomes a large contributor to the antenna pattern distortion and produces adverse antenna impedance variations due to antenna and aircraft body proximity. The preexisting antenna designs feature sub-optimal gain and largely irregular antenna patterns in the lateral direction significantly reducing operational effectiveness.

A new antenna design from the Navy comprises a two-element phased array blade antenna (PAB) assembly, which provides improved lateral target coverage with an increased effective radiated power and exhibits smooth null-free, bi-directional lateral antenna patterns. Each antenna blade pair is coupled to a 180° hybrid divider/combiner by a semi-rigid RF cable.

This antenna design provides a superior antenna input Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR), smooth lateral pattern coverage, large antenna gain, and EMI suppression. Moreover, broadband antenna performance is achieved with a unique antenna blade design that not only improves the usable frequency range of the antenna but also provides for a lightweight construction that is required for most airborne antenna systems.

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