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Phased Array Antenna for the Mitigation of UAS InterferenceThe growing demand for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) operating beyond the line of sight (BLOS) has resulted in an increased interest in using existing commercial satellite communication capabilities for UAS command and control (C2) communications. The World Radiocommunication Conference in 2015 designated portions of Ku-Band and Ka-Band fixed satellite service (FSS) spectrum to support UAS C2 communications, provided that potential interference with existing co-allocated users in these bands is addressed. As the user base in this new spectrum allocation expands, there is an increased potential for interference with existing terrestrial communication systems operating under fixed service (FS) allocations. The portion of Ka-Band spectrum allocated for UAS C2 avoids significant interference issues, but the Ku-Band allocation contains a co-primary FS allocation, creating potential interference problems. Therefore, UAS must identify solutions to avoid interfering with these existing FS ground sites while maintaining good links with satellite constellations. UAS operating with conventional fixed feed parabolic antennas will have difficulty in meeting interference thresholds, especially at high latitudes where the antennas will operate with low elevation angles. As a means of addressing this limitation, NASA is investigating the use of a phased array antenna to enable mitigation of interference into ground-based FS receivers. In this paper, a novel lightweight conformal phased array antenna will be presented that can use null-steering and/or beam shaping to avoid ground interference while simultaneously providing strong satellite microwave links for communications. The reduced weight of this design and ability to integrate into the fuselage of smaller UAS platforms will also be discussed as a potential solution to provide BLOS operation via spectrum sharing for an expanding user base. This paper will review design aspects of the conformal phased array antenna, describe the intended benefits in reducing interference with FS ground stations, and describe phased array development and test plans.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Downey, James M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Schoenholz, Bryan L.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Piasecki, Marie T.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Kerczewski, Robert J.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 5, 2018
Publication Date
April 10, 2018
Subject Category
Communications And Radar
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Integrated Communications Navigation and Surveillance (ICNS) Conference
Location: Washington, D.C.
Country: United States
Start Date: April 10, 2018
End Date: April 12, 2018
Sponsors: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 533127.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Beam Forming
Null Steering
Phased Array
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