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Helicopter rotor-blade modulation of antenna radiation characteristics

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3 Author(s)
Polycarpou, A.C. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ, USA ; Balanis, C.A. ; Stefanov, A.

This paper investigates rotor modulation on the gain and input impedance of an antenna mounted on a helicopter's fuselage. The rotor blades, which are rotating about an axis with a given angular velocity, continuously modulate the signal transmitted by the antenna and adversely affect the established communication links. In this study, particular emphasis is placed on wire antennas operating within the HF and VHF bands. Specifically, the Doppler spectrum of the magnitude and phase of the radiated field from a vertical and a horizontal short dipole underneath the rotors is computed and analyzed. The variation of the corresponding antenna gain as a function of rotor angle and frequency is also investigated. The same type of analysis is then extended to a 14-ft towel-bar antenna mounted on the tail boom of a 10:1 scaled helicopter model. In addition to gain, the variation of input impedance versus angle and frequency is computed within the HF band. Finally, the bit error rate (BER) assuming a quadrature phase-shift keying (QPSK) modulation is evaluated assuming linearly and circularly polarized receiving antennas

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Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 5 )