The FRF-229 multi-band panel antenna offers high performance for data links in L-, S-, C- and Ku-Bands, aligning with modern multiband radio terminals. The antenna apertures and RF amplification for all bands are contained within a single air-cooled housing that enables simple platform integration. This scalable antenna system can be configured as one to four distributed antennas working in concert to suit any installation. The L-, S-, C- and Ku-Band functions within the antenna are independent, allowing different simultaneous waveforms and data rates between the high and low frequencies. The conformal installation allows a wide field of view from a single antenna or 360° coverage with multiple antennas.
The Ku-Band function features integrated phased arrays capable of full duplex operation in the tactical common data link frequency bands, which can be reconfigured on the fly for air-to-ground, air-to-air or ground-to-ground data links. The Ku-Band phased array enables electronic elevation beam steering to compensate for the motion of dynamic platforms.
By incorporating amplification within the antenna, cable losses between the radio and antennas are offset, which improves transmitter efficiency and receiver sensitivity. This increases system performance compared to traditional antennas, while simultaneously reducing weight and DC power consumption. Built-in diplexing enables multiple frequencies to be combined onto common cables, which simplifies the installation.
Prototype systems have been flight tested under operational conditions; the production design and full MIL-STD qualification are planned during 2015.