Advanced Multi-band Communications Antenna
Recent flight tests conducted by a combined team from the Electronic Systems Center, the Space and Missile Systems Center, MIT Lincoln Laboratory and MITRE Corp. have shown that the low-profile Advanced Multi-band Communications Antenna, installed on a wide-body aircraft, can effectively support high speed Ka-band and extremely high frequency (EHF) communications. The tests demonstrated that the antenna system meets needed performance characteristics, such as small size and weight, easy installation, consistent coverage in all directions and the ability to mount to the aircraft skin. The system will provide secure, long-range military satellite communications connectivity for future Air Force airborne platforms-providing voice, video and chat capabilities. The antenna could represent a major breakthrough in supporting multi-megabit-per-second-class airborne communications using the Wideband Global Satellite Communications and Advanced EHF satellites, according to Air Force officials. The antenna, mounted on an MIT test bed aircraft, was able to successfully establish communications with a Military Strategic Tactical Realy (MILSTAR) satellite. The flight tests were performed with the antenna system securing connections with MILSTAR at various look-angles, with the array outperforming the anticipated results.