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Proceedings Paper

Air vehicle integration issues and considerations for CLAS successful implementation
Author(s): Allen J. Lockyer; Kevin H. Alt; Jayanth N. Kudva; James Tuss
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Paper Abstract

Over the last decade, Northrop Grumman Corporation under internal and DoD funding, and others, have been working on integration of RF antennas into load-bearing aircraft structures. This multidisciplinary effort, collectively referred to as Conformal Load-bearing Antenna Structures (CLAS), requires concurrent consideration of structural and antenna performance issues and has involved a team consisting of avionics, structures, material, and manufacturing expertise. From the published articles to date it could be argued that the technology has had some spectacular success in its initial stages but not much has been published about the issues raised by CLAS that would still need to be addressed and solved for final technology inclusion in an operational air-vehicle. Presented are some key results from the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Smart Skins Structures Technology Demonstrator (S3TD) program that while funded from the Air Vehicles Directorate looked at the total picture of integration from a multidisciplilnary standpoint. Issues related to airframe integration are also discussed that need further study and evaluation before CLAS can be sanctioned as a viable future DoD technology. Such topics, in no particular order of priority are 1) airframe CLAS panel location, 2) airframe configuration issues, 3) EMI/lightning issues, and 4) repair issues and supportability, 5) panel design enhancement, risks, and issues.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 June 2001
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4332, Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, (14 June 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.429688
Show Author Affiliations
Allen J. Lockyer, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Kevin H. Alt, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Jayanth N. Kudva, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
James Tuss, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4332:
Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies
Anna-Maria Rivas McGowan, Editor(s)

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