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New Missile Antenna is Smaller, Stronger – More Flexible Design

Game Changing Technology Generates 50% Improvement

Communications

China Lake engineers conceived and developed an efficient, directed, small-sized antenna that could handle higher temperatures for extended periods and survive harsh conditions.

Existing Technology
The DoD required a surface-recessed, high-performance antenna to survive the heat of long range and fast flight. In the past, slotted antennas generally included tapered loads or resonant loads positioned behind the antenna’s radiating slot or at the end of the slot. However, the physical size of the load is relatively long and thus not optimal when the antenna is to be located in a confined space or there are size limitations based on the antenna.

New Technology
China Lake engineers conceived and developed an efficient, directed, small-sized antenna that could handle higher temperatures for extended periods and survive harsh conditions. The new metal a ntenna is short, very efficient, low profile, with precision controlled side lobes that is applicable from RF to millimeter frequencies. This waveguide design has the ability to control both amplitude and phase independently by adjusting the slot offset and the internal ridge width and height for that offset. The new design has shown a 50% improvement over existing technology.

How It Works
Extremely efficient compact ridge waveguide was achieved using simulations involving amplitude and phase control in a simple straight stick antenna. The antenna can be built with current machining equipment or additive 3D printers. This design has undergone low rate production achieving overlaying measured patterns on all antennas produced.

Who Benefits
This design has private industry applications as well. For example, the auto industry needs an inexpensive, directive scanning millimeter antenna to detect and locate cars, holes, and objects in front to assist the driver and also for autonomous driving applications. A linear array of this type of antenna that operates using millimeter frequency shifting pulses can obtain range, and angular location of cars and objects. This array could conveniently blend into the grill.

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