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NEWS | Sept. 1, 2016

New Antenna Expands Warfighter Situational Awareness





  • LOCATION: Boulder, Colorado
  • TOPIC NUMBER: AF071-059
  • TOPIC TITLE: Planar Wideband Phased-Array Element for VHF RADAR
  • TECHNICAL PROJECT OFFICE: AFRL Information Directorate, Rome, NY

Helicopters play a vital support role for ship, air and ground forces, however their effectiveness has traditionally been hampered with single-band passive antennas that provide limited communication range and coverage.

With assistance from the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Program, Colorado-based FIRST RF Corp. expanded the potential surveillance capabilities of helicopters by developing a multi-band active antenna that requires no special configuration planning prior to launch.

The new antenna – which can receive and transmit to all assets on the battlefield – is being touted as the first full-motion video antenna suite. It offers greater directivity and four active bands with the ability to switch communications between ground, ship or air nodes during flight.


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