Title: Conformal Omni-Directional Antenna Design for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Abstract: The proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in DoD’s fleet has created a serious need for lightweight, airborne conformal antennas that cover numerous frequency bands. Shadow 200 is a great example of a high performance, exceptionally versatile UAV system which is finding use among nearly all DoD services. This airframe’s ever-expanding set of functions requires a fresh approach to antenna design that is a departure from the traditional function-specific bolt-on antenna. There is an urgent demand for low-frequency vertically polarized antennas for the Shadow UAV and similarly sized vehicles. Commercially available aviation antenna products are too heavy with an unacceptably large aerodynamic cross section for use aboard Shadow. FIRST RF’s proposed antenna technology uses planar wideband antenna apertures to provide a vertically polarized omni-directional beam. The proposed concept combines the practicality of existing antenna designs with a novel application approach to provide airborne SINCGARS and EPLRS coverage from a conformal antenna. FIRST RF’s proposed antenna design exceeds the gain specification of -15 dBi by a wide margin, and yet produces no drag to the vehicle and requires no protrusion into the existing airframe. This technology holds tremendous commercialization potential due to its practicality, conformality, high gain and wide bandwidth.