Conformal Beamforming Array (CBA) for Aerial Platform

Design & Development of Conformal Beamforming Array (CBA) for Aerial Platform


COMSATS is developing a conformal beam forming antenna arrays in order to help improve the performance of directive antennas which can flex under wind pressure and to be used by the telecommunication and defense industry.

Conformal antennas also known as wrap around antennas have utility in many applications where linear/planar antennas cannot be put to use or definitely have drawbacks. This includes the structural embedded antenna on a skin of vehicle, RADAR, aeroplane, wearable electronics, smart textiles and wearable health-monitoring systems. Most of these applications require placement of antenna arrays on a non-planar surface with controlled gain, higher efficiency, higher angular coverage, compact size, robust beam formation capabilities, and cost-effective solution.
In this project, the proposition is to work on the research and development of conformal beamforming array (CBA) that will be tested on a fuselage/wing portion of a small surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or a commercial UAV model. The proposed CBA can also be used in passive radar for the detection of low flying objects by increasing the angular coverage beyond that is offered by conventional planar antenna arrays. The proposed array will be able to perform beam-steering and null-steering simultaneously. This feature of CBA to orient its main beam towards the desired user and nulls towards the unintended users makes it an excellent candidate for 4th and 5th generation telecom networks. For example, 3G and 4G telecommunications infrastructure involve multiple transmit receive antennas where the use of conformal smart antennas can increase the network capacity considerably. The proposed CBA system will be scalable both in terms of frequency, and size of the conformal array, having adaptive beamforming capabilities without human intervention, efficient and will be designed specifically for aerial platform structures.
Moreover, the CBA developed can be used in many commercial/defense applications, for example, 1) On the skin of an automobile for safe driving through alert messages/automatic brakes control using its beamforming capability, 2) On a cellular base station to increase the network coverage/capacity, 3) Access points in a broadband networks to achieve higher date rates, 4) Body area networks, and 5) Data transmission clothing.