Design and integration of a low-cost lightweight multi-purpose switched antenna array EW payload for small UAVs

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Authors
  1. Henault, S.
  2. Jackson, B.R.
  3. Antar, Y.M.M.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Ottawa Research Centre, Ottawa ON (CAN)
Abstract
The design and integration of a multi-purpose switched antenna array prototype that can be employed as a low-cost electronic warfare (EW) payload onboard small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is documented. Applications of this system include emitter geolocation, communications jamming, beamforming and radar processing. Unlike conventional antenna arrays where an RF front-end and digitizer are required for each of the antenna array elements, the switched array system uses the same RF front-end and digitizer for all of the array elements through the integration of fast RF switches. This work leverages recent developments in commercially available software-defined r adios by using s uch a r adio as the RF front-end and digitizer in the switched array. A new compact planar spiral antenna achieving an operational bandwidth of one decade without additional impedance matching and balancing circuit is also part of this work. Furthermore, novel calibration and compensation techniques are introduced to obtain the required synchronization between the software-defined radio and RF switches, thus allowing these radios to realize their full potential without having to sacrifice their operational bandwidth.

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Keywords
antenna;array;switch;electronic warfare;direction finding;geolocation;beamforming;retrodirective array;time-modulated array;estimation;jamming;radar;unmanned aerial vehicle;software-defined radio
Report Number
DRDC-OTTAWA-TR-2012-126 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Nov 2012
Number of Pages
78
DSTKIM No
CA042427
CANDIS No
803587
Format(s):
Electronic Document(PDF)

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