MANA: Miniaturized ANtennas for Aircrafts

The main goal of this project is to develop new miniaturized V/UHF & L-band antennas which maintain current airborne radio electrical features but reducing the RCS and the aerodynamic drag. Current antennas, although do not present a large aerodynamic drag as single element, in aircraft versions of ISR type (MPA, MMSA, SIGINT, AEW, etc) in which there are many of these elements installed, the availability of antenna solutions with reduced size do help to reduce the total aircraft aerodynamic drag, ease integration tasks (antenna sitting, installation, etc) and reduce the overall aircraft radar signature. Furthermore, the advances carried out in the frame of antenna design in the last years (e.g. metamaterial, fractal antennas, etc,…) may help to improve the current design of airborne antennas, which are based on very old technology.

The main challenge of this project is to obtain a technical solution that allows reducing the current antenna size for VUHF and Lband antennas but at the same time keeps the radio electrical performances. The solution must operate within the environmentto be expected on aircraft, which add more difficulty to the design task, furthermore structural/stress, aerodynamic and lightning strike protection requirements must be also taken into account.

Funding: MINECO (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad de España).

Partner: Airbus.

Code: RTC-2014-2380-4


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