SBIR-STTR Award

Ultra-Wideband Transmission Using Sub-Wavelength Antennas on Airborne Platforms
Profile last edited on: 9/28/2022

Program
STTR
Agency
AF
Total Award Amount
$897,898
Award Phase
2
Principal Investigator
Peder Hansen
Activity Indicator

Company Information

Long Wave Inc

1111 North Lee Avenue Suite 334
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
   (405) 536-3103
   info@longwaveinc.com
   www.longwaveinc.com
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   05
County:   Oklahoma

Phase I

Phase I year
2020
Phase I Amount
$147,911
Engineers designing transmitting antennas at long wavelengths have for decades struggled to make antennas compact, efficient, and broadband. These challenges are especially pronounced in the Very Low Frequency (VLF, 3-30 kHz) band, where wavelengths are 10-100 km. Existing VLF transmitters have either extremely short range, or extremely large size with little bandwidth. Solving this problem would impact several defense and civilian applications, including hemisphere-scale subsea communications, underground sensing and detection, navigation and timing, and even space radiation belt remediation. We propose a radical new antenna concept in which we use high-speed time-variation to break the fundamental limits inherent to conventional antennas. Conventional impedance-matching techniques work only in a narrow frequency band, but our technique is a time-domain matching scheme which inherently works at all frequencies. The limitation is the need for components that can simultaneously handle high-speed (ns-scale) and high power. In Phase I, we will investigate available and customizable components, and explore the achievable trade space of bandwidth-free antenna specifications. An existing proof-of-concept will be scaled it up to a higher-power prototype, enabling groundbreaking demonstrations. Concepts for an even higher power prototype that could be built in a Phase II will be designed, enabling demonstrations to build commercial interest.

Phase II

Phase II year
2022 (last award dollars: 2022)
Phase II Amount
$749,987
We propose an STTR Phase II program to build, test and demonstrate a medium power (100 W) prototype VLF transmitter (3-30 kHz) that has been fully designed and simulated in Phase I. The key advantage of our proposed transmitter is the ability to change frequencies anywhere within the VLF band essentially instantaneously, while also removing the need for a top hat or a loading inductor which ordinarily require large and heavy equipment. The same technology may be applicable to other domains where electrically short antennas with high bandwidth and compact size are needed. The challenge of our technology is the requirement for a high-speed and high-power switch. In Phase I, we research the market for solutions, while also proving the technology with a benchtop low-power prototype. Using the results of our market survey we calculate the capabilities for a Phase II demo that would be sufficient to draw interest in follow-on Phase III programs. Our Phase II design is fully specified and designed with vendors in place to provide all the parts. A receiver network is already in place to validate the electromagnetic emissions across the continent. The primary application is airborne VLF transmission, but we will also pursue, via feasibility studies, applications to subsea and subsurface sensing, HF communications, GPS-independent navigation and timing, radiation belt remediation, and others.