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Broadband Conformal Phased Array with Optical Beam Forming for Airborne Satellite Communication

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14 Author(s)
Schippers, H. ; Nat. Aerosp. Lab. NLR, Amsterdam ; Verpoorte, J. ; Jorna, P. ; Hulzinga, A.
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For enhanced communication on board an aircraft, novel antenna systems with broadband satellite-based capabilities are required. The technology will enhance airline operations by providing in-flight connectivity for flight crew information and will bring live TV and highspeed Internet connectivity to passengers. The installation of such systems on board an aircraft requires for aerodynamic reasons the development a very low-profile aircraft antenna, which can point to satellites anywhere in the upper hemisphere. To this end, phased array antennas which are conformal to the aircraft fuselage are attractive. In this paper, two key aspects of conformal phased array antenna arrays are addressed: the development of a broadband Ku-band antenna and an optical beam forming network for tracking satellites. The antenna elements of the conformal array are stacked patch antennas with dual linear polarization which have sufficient bandwidth. For tracking an optical circuit is proposed that consists of a cascade of optical ring resonators.

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2008 IEEE

Date of Conference:

1-8 March 2008