Advanced multifunction radio-frequency antennas
Advances in modern electronics and digital processing are allowing radar, electronic warfare and communications to converge into integrated functions and subsystems.
Sophisticated phased-array technology is increasing its effectiveness as bandwidth increases and multiple functions (weapons control, surveillance and targeting) become necessary to fight and survive in defence environments.
Individual cognitive radio frequency (RF) systems, such as cognitive electronic warfare, radar and communications already offer significant improvements in performance but these systems have often focused on techniques largely limited by inflexible antenna capabilities.
Our research, in collaboration with RMIT University and industry partners, is developing adaptive antenna technology that can ‘morph’ across the range of antenna requirements for all of these functionalities, and across a range of bandwidths. This will take cognitive systems to new levels of effectiveness and versatility.
The concept of a single overarching RF system controller and interface with a single antenna system also has considerable appeal for lightweight payloads for unmanned autonomous vehicles or small satellites where space and weight are critical design parameters.
This research is providing an important foundation for cognitive electronic warfare, cognitive radar, advanced sensors, integrated surveillance and reconnaissance, and will have application for all available antennas used by RF systems.