Washington, DC (WiredPRNews.com) Here is an opportunity for aerospace and defense companies to get a leg up on their competitors and impress the Defense Department with their smarts. A new Georgia-based company has invented and patented a Liquid Crystal Polymer antenna technology that is a leap forward in antenna design and promises to make major inroads in aerospace and defense applications and in commercial use.
The company is VerseQ and it has already won patents for its antenna system. A Liquid Crystal Polymer or LCP is a high performance, flexible RF materials that uses a single, multilayer platform both for the antenna and the RF circuitry. The result is that VersaQ is able to create dense, integrated solutions covering a wide range of operating conditions.
VersaQ is open for investment and licensing its technology.
In visualizing the product, keep in mind that these antenna are actually flexible and conformal and are electronically, not mechanically, steered. They are very lightweight.
An important application that will benefit significantly from the VersaQ LCP system are unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs. Today’s UAV reconnaissance systems incorporate large bubble radomes for ground radars and satellite communications. The radomes can be replaced by a VersaQ LCP system fitting the aerodynamic profile of the UAV instead of the UAV platform being designed to meet the size and shape requirements of the payload.
A conformally mounted antenna array reduces drag by reducing protrusions into the airstream and is much lighter than the traditional, standard antennas they replace. This means the UAV can fly further or carry a larger payload.
VersaQ uses a packaging process that places active and passive electronics close to the antenna elements, which assures a higher degree of integration thereby also reducing size, weight and overall complexity.
UAV applications include synethetic apearture radars, ground moving target indicator radars, satellite communications, airborne early warning and control (AEWC) and airborne data relay.
Like UAVs, manned and unmanned helicopters also can take advantage of VersaQ’s antenna system. Among other applications where a conformal antenna on a helicopter will be beneficial and eliminate the need for radomes, are brownout radars, IFF, ASW and Anti-Surface warfare systems, C4ISR, surveillance, smuggling and interdiction scanning and SAR (search and rescue) applications.
VersaQ will improve helicopter efficiency and agility, speed and range, and reduce weight.
Nick Fuhrman of SDB Partners is shepherding the introduction of the VersaQ system to the aerospace community. He is the former Director of the Georgia Center for Innovation in Aerospace and in that capacity built key technology partnerships between the private sector and the US Air Force and with NASA. (Contact Nick at [email protected] )