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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.
- Does not require any impedance matching networks since the antenna blade construction features a 50 ohm nominal input impedance resulting in reduced construction cost, increased reliability and reduced RF insertion loss
- Antenna blade design provides a well-behaved antenna input impedance characteristic that covers approximately 22% of the bandwidth around the center or target design frequency
- US patent 7,280,083 available for express licensing