Fabricate and Test the VHF Airborne Antenna for Shadow 200

Development activities conducted by Bokler Systems Corporation (BSC) have proven the viability of the Communication Relay Package (CRP) design. In less than six months a BSC-led team planned and executed a Risk Reduction effort that included the design and fabrication of a physically small and electrically efficient broadband VHF antenna; a captive flight test of this antenna to verify its performance; and an intensive effort to reduce the VHF noise floor on the Shadow 200 UAV by finding and mitigating sources of interference. BSC continues to support the Program Manager, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PM-UAS) in the integration of the CRP with the Shadow 200, preparation for flight testing, and an operational evaluation.

Our Role

  • Fabricate and test the VHF Airborne Antenna for Shadow 200
    • Integrate CRP with Shadow 200
    • Develop “A Kit” to integrate CRP with Shadow 200
    • Plan and execute Captive Flight Test
    • Verification of Longley-Rice models of RF propagation
    • Verification of VHF Airborne Antenna (small wideband dipole)
    • Find and eliminate sources of interference in VHF band
    • Reduce VHF-band Noise Floor on the Shadow 200
    • Design and fabrication of fixtures for testing with the UH-1
    • Extensive instrumentation and data collection effort
    • Support flight testing and operational evaluation
  • Design and Fabrication Requirements
    • Minimize weight and aerodynamic impact
    • Physically small and lightweight
    • Dipole type (due to composite airframe)
      Wide bandwidth (30 – 88 MHz)
    • Measurements verified need to reduce Noise Floor
    • Efforts yielded a 10 – 20 dB reduction in Noise Floor