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Design and Development of Conformal Beamforming Array (CBA) for Aerial Platform

Collaborating organization

Advanced Engineering Research Organization (AERO) / NESCOM, Islamabad

Funding Agency

IGNITE (formerly National ICT R&D), Ministry of IT & Telecom

Executive Summary

Conformal antennas (also known as wrap around antennas) are used in many applications where linear/planar antennas canna be used or definitely have drawbacks. This includes the structural embedded antenna on a skin of vehicle, RADAR, aeroplane, wearable electronics, smart textiles and wearable health-monitoring systems. Most of these applications require placement of antenna arrays on a non-planar surface with controlled gain, higher efficiency, higher angular coverage, compact size, robust beam-formation capabilities and cost-effective solution. It offers increased angular coverage than the conventional planar antenna arrays.

In this project, we propose to work on the research and development of conformal beamforming array (CBA) that will be tested on a fuselage/wing portion of a small surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or a commercial UAV model. The traditional design philosophy is to use a planar array with the required performance and wan', the array to fit the constraints with little to no consideration of the change in inter element coupling and underlying performance. The proposed CBA can also be us in passive radar for the detection of low flying objects and will be able to platform beam-steering and null-steering simultaneously.

The proposed CBA system will be scalable (both in terms of frequency, and size of the conformal array), having adaptive beamforming capabilities (without human intervention), efficient and will be designed specifically for aerial platform structures. Moreover, the CBA developed can be us in many commercial/defense applications, for example

1.      On the skin of an automobile for safe driving through alert messages/automatic brakes control using its beamforming capability

2.      On a cellular base station to increase the network coverage/capacity.

3.      Access points in a broadband networks to achieve higher date rates

4.      Body area networks, and

5.      Data transmission clothing.