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Proceedings Paper

Qualitative assessment of smart skins and avionic/structures integration
Author(s): Allen J. Lockyer; Jayanth N. Kudva; David Kane; B. P. Hill; Christopher A. Martin; Allan C. Goetz; James Tuss
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Paper Abstract

Current military aircraft employ multiple single function antennas installed at different locations to provide communications, navigation and identification (CNI), electronic warfare and radar and weapon delivery in the .15 to 18 GHz frequency bands. The smart skins concept, wherein several antennas are integrated into one (or a few) multifunction apertures conformal to the outer geometry of the aircraft, promises considerable benefits. These include extended antenna coverage, efficient use of aircraft realestate, quick installation and replacement and structural weight savings. However, to realize these payoffs, several disparate technical and operational issues such as development of multifunction apertures, integration of the radiating elements and repackaging the electronics into load-bearing structure, antenna isolation and resource management, and tolerance to low velocity impact damage, need to be resolved. Potential payoffs and the technical challenges of smart skins implementation and avionics repackaging is discussed in quantized transitional states from black box avionics traditional packaging to structurally integrated avionics of the future. Qualitative assessments of related smart skin technologies and risk reduction approaches, which could transition the technology to current and future aircraft, are proposed, and preliminary cost estimates presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1994
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2189, Smart Structures and Materials 1994: Smart Materials, (1 May 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.174052
Show Author Affiliations
Allen J. Lockyer, Northrop Corp. (United States)
Jayanth N. Kudva, Northrop Corp. (United States)
David Kane, Northrop Corp. (United States)
B. P. Hill, Northrop Corp. (United States)
Christopher A. Martin, Northrop Corp. (United States)
Allan C. Goetz, TRW, Inc. (United States)
James Tuss, Air Force Wright Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2189:
Smart Structures and Materials 1994: Smart Materials
Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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