CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (March 21, 2012) – When engineers in the Rockwell Collins Advanced Technology Center (ATC) designed a new type of technology called a parasitic switched array antenna, they envisioned a high-performing, low-cost airborne antenna that would increase operational range while supporting the high-data rates that are required in the modern battlefield.
The result was the ANT-7000 C-Band Antenna, which recently was named the winner of the Communications category for Aviation Week’s Innovation Challenge. The competition recognizes game-changing aerospace and defense suppliers for their unique responses to market needs, cost improvements, and positive effects on integration barriers.
According to Bob Newgard, director of Advanced Radio Systems, the antenna provides high throughput at one-fifth the size, weight and cost of traditional airborne directional antennas.
“At the same time, this antenna is reconfigurable and has multi-mode capability, which means it can be used for both directional and omni-directional communications,” said Newgard. “That reconfigurability is really a discriminator.”
Directional antennas receive a signal from a given direction, while omni-directional antennas receive signals from any direction. Traditionally, directional antennas are pointed mechanically and cannot be reconfigured for omni-directional communications – limiting communications to one point at a time.
To change this, the ATC team leveraged the innovation catalyst of the Rockwell Collins 10X Innovation Program, which champions innovative ideas from employees from across the company. Using our streamlined rapid prototyping process, they quickly developed an antenna array that relies on simple radio frequency switching networks.
About Rockwell Collins
Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) is a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative communication and aviation electronic solutions for both commercial and government applications. Our expertise in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, information management