FAAS—frequency agile electrically small tactical AM antenna system

Easy to erect and tune by non-technical personnel


Antenna cutaway view includes transmitter (Tx), ATU, tophat disc 242, tophat wires 244, tophat jumpers 246, 248, 250, copper conductor base of ¼ inch, insulator base, base and insulator mast 346, 348, mast ring 380 and mast wires 142. Conductor base is coupled to a ground rod (not shown) and to a network of ground radial wires (also not shown). The ground radial wires comprise lengths of conductive wire connected to the conductor base and distal ends are evenly spaced and situated in a concentric circle.

Typical antenna systems require a broadcast engineer to setup, tune, and maintain the system, which is expensive. Additionally, these systems require power shutdowns in order to tune the antenna. Navy researchers have addressed these issues and others with this novel field-deployed antenna.

To provide a better understanding of the operation of the antenna described in the image, an operator (who does not need to be a broadcast engineer) configures tophat jumpers (short distance cables) depending on factors such as desired operating frequency, local topography, and tuner electronics. The tophat assembly is adjusted such that the input impedance of the antenna is kept within a certain region so that a dual inductor antenna tuning unit (ATU) configuration can be used. After raising the configurable tophat assembly via a telescoping base and insulator mast to approximately 60 feet, the operator attempts to tune the antenna to a desired operating frequency using the ATU. If a first attempt at tuning fails, the operator reconfigures the tophat jumpers as an open or short, which may require lowering the tophat assembly, and further adjusts the ATU. This process can be repeated until the antenna is tuned to the desired frequency.

US patent, 8,725,214 is a continuation-in-part of this patent 8,350,769 and adds the method of tuning the antenna. Tuning is accomplished by configuring the jumpers and adjusting inductor values either manually or with a computer controller.

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