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Proceedings Paper

Remoting alternatives for a multiple phased-array antenna network
Author(s): Zan Shi; James J. Foshee
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Paper Abstract

Significant improvements in technology have made phased array antennas an attractive alternative to the traditional dish antenna for use on wide body airplanes. These improvements have resulted in reduced size, reduced cost, reduced losses in the transmit and receive channels (simplifying the design), a significant extension in the bandwidth capability, and an increase in the functional capability. Flush mounting (thus reduced drag) and rapid beam switching are among the evolving desirable features of phased array antennas. Beam scanning of phased array antennas is limited to +/-45 degrees at best and therefore multiple phased array antennas would need to be used to insure instantaneous communications with any ground station (stations located at different geographical locations on the ground) and with other airborne stations. The exact number of phased array antennas and the specific installation location of each antenna on the wide body airplane would need to be determined by the specific communication requirements, but it is conceivable as many as five phased array antennas may need to be used to provide the required coverage. Control and switching of these antennas would need to be accomplished at a centralized location on the airplane and since these antennas would be at different locations on the airplane an efficient scheme of remoting would need to be used. To save in cost and keep the phased array antennas as small as possible the design of the phased array antennas would need to be kept simple. A dish antenna and a blade antenna (small size) could also be used to augment the system. Generating the RF signals at the central location and then using RF cables or waveguide to get the signal to any given antenna could result in significant RF losses. This paper will evaluate a number of remoting alternatives to keep the system design simple, reduce system cost, and utilize the functional capability of networking multiple phased array antennas on a wide body airplane. Included in these alternatives will be the use of optical modules as the true time delay in the phased array antennas and using a fiber optic bus from the centralized control to drive the optical modules.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 October 2001
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4604, Fiber Optic Components, Subsystems, and Systems for Telecommunications, (11 October 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.444617
Show Author Affiliations
Zan Shi, Radiant Photonics, Inc. (United States)
James J. Foshee, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4604:
Fiber Optic Components, Subsystems, and Systems for Telecommunications

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