Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

QinetiQ Develops Antenna That Extends UAV Reach

Mounted on the outside of a helicopter, the antenna had to withstand all types of adverse weather, being constantly buffeted by high winds, and intense vibration.
by Staff Writers
Benbecula, Hebrides (SPX) Mar 30, 2006
A lightweight, high performance and exceptionally robust experimental antenna that enabled a helicopter to receive imagery at 'operationally useful ranges' directly from a UAV - in this case a Boeing ScanEagle - has been developed by QinetiQ and was flight trialled in March at the Hebrides range, which QinetiQ operates for the MOD.

"By deploying a UAV, friendly forces can observe identified targets from a safe stand off distance and gain a valuable military advantage without compromising personnel," explained Bill Tyack, the Air programme director at QinetiQ. "The specification for this technologically advanced, highly robust and lightweight antenna is certainly demanding. But by building on QinetiQ's considerable knowledge in this area we were able to develop an effective, low-cost solution within only a couple of months for the MOD to evaluate. We now hope these design concepts will be taken up in a future programme."

A key achievement of the experimental antenna, developed as part of the Phase Three, 3m MOD-funded JUEP (maritime) programme, is its combination of high gain and wide beamwidth. These two features are normally considered mutually exclusive, but both are required to receive the weak signals produced by ScanEagle's low visibility transmitters. Mounted on the outside of a helicopter, the antenna had to withstand all types of adverse weather, being constantly buffeted by high winds, and intense vibration. These physical characteristics do not normally make for a lightweight, affordable solution - but this was an essential requirement.

"We set a tough initial specification and live flight trials in an operationally-representative environment, have shown that this experimental antenna outperforms that original requirement," added Lt.Col Dick Park, head of the Joint Unmanned Air Vehicle Experimentation Team within the MOD. "The Hebrides trials were gruelling, but this is a rugged, serviceable, piece of equipment."

The antenna was developed from novel designs by QinetiQ for a smart commercial antenna. It was this experience in developing airborne applications that provided the credibility for taking on such a challenging new requirement.

Related Links

ESA Invites Designs For Mars UAV
Noordwijk the Netherlands (SPX) Mar 29, 2006
ESA has invited aerospace students to submit ideas for an unmanned aerial vehicle suitable for exploring Mars. The agency said the best entries will win a place at the Euroavia Design Workshop to be held at the agency's Erasmus User Centre this July.

  • British, US Diplomacy Saved India, Pakistan From War: Straw
  • Outside View: Japan's Quiet Nuclear Debate
  • Outside View: US-India Nuke Deal Tensions
  • Putin's China Visit Shifts Power

  • Iran To Stage Massive Gulf Military Maneuver
  • Key Security Council Members Agree On Text For Iran Crisis
  • Straw: Iran Will Not Be 'Another Iraq'
  • Flurry of UN Activity Amid Signs Of Progress On Iran Statement

  • Lockheed Martin Submits Final Proposal Revision For APKWS II
  • NetFires Conducts Navy Ballistic Flight Test For NLOS-LS Missile
  • F-15K Makes History With SLAM-ER Release
  • South Korea Showcases New Missiles

  • US Invites Indian Officers To STRATCOM
  • Ballistic Missile Numbers Fall Worldwide
  • Boeing, ATK Team for Israeli Short Range BMD Competition
  • Pakistan Bets On Barbar Cruise Missile

  • Lockheed Martin Delivers F-22 Raptor To Second Operational Squadron
  • CAESAR Triumphs As New Gen Of Radar Takes Flight
  • Northrop Grumman to Provide F-16 Fleet To Greek Air Force
  • US Offers India Advanced Fighter Aircraft

  • QinetiQ Develops Antenna That Extends UAV Reach
  • Goldeneye-50 Completes Its 100th Flight
  • SatCon Wins Contract For Army's Future Combat System
  • ESA Invites Designs For Mars UAV

  • Russia Calls US Charge Of Helping Iraq 'Politically-Motivated'
  • US Presses Moscow On Reports Of Spying For Iraq
  • Rumsfeld Will Not Resign Wants More Support For War Instead
  • US Will Query Russia On Reports Of Help To Iraq

  • LM Delivers MMSR For US Navy's Acoustic Naval Research Center
  • British-US Dogfight Over Next-Gen Fighter Intensifies
  • Northrop Grumman Delivers "Smart" Bomb Rack For B-2 Stealth Bomber
  • Raytheon: APKWS II Rocket Motor Tailfin Improvement

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement