Quadrifilar Helix Antenna for Enhanced Air-to-Ground Communications

Report No. ARL-TR-7679
Authors: Steven D Keller, William O Coburn, Theodore K Anthony, and Seth A McCormick
Date/Pages: May 2016; 34 pages
Abstract: A self-phased quadrifilar helix antenna is designed, simulated, fabricated and measured for use in Army air-to-ground and airborne-assisted ground-to-ground communication systems. The effect of the metallic ground plane provided by the aircraft fuselage is explored through simulation, and the ideal standoff distance from this ground plane to maximize realized gain is determined. The inclusion of radio frequency (RF) absorber material to shield the antenna from the metallic ground plane is also explored. Prototype antenna measurements are presented and compared with simulation results. The antenna operates very well over the intended TW-400 RF band, with a realized gain of ~4 to 4.5 dBiC and functional beamwidth of ~90° to 110°.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2016