Persistent Systems
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Multiband Tracking Antennas Help Overcome Interference

May 2, 2022
Dual-band tracking antennas enable switching between two different frequency bands to select the range that overcomes the presence of jammers and interference.

Strategic jammers and electronic-warfare (EW) systems often make communications between ground-based forces and aircraft difficult. Techniques such as frequency-hopping radios and redundancy in data links can help to overcome jammers and interference. On that front, unique tracking antennas with two different, simultaneous frequency bands developed by Persistent Systems automatically switch between the two frequency bands for the best possible ground-to-air communications in spite of the interference.

The novel dual-band tracking antennas (see figure) support air-to-ground Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) transmissions. Persistent Systems, a mainstay in mobile ad-hoc networking (MANET), developed the multi-band tracking antennas for RF- and GPS-denied environments to enable dependable C4ISR communications even amidst jamming and EW signal sources. The antennas automatically select the best frequency band for communications between ground forces and manned and/or unmanned aircraft.

Ben Wring, Senior Program Engineer at Persistent Systems, said, “This is a game-changer. Now connectivity is maintained even when an enemy is actively denying us access to GPS. The tracking system remains locked onto the aircraft and mission data continues to flow without disruption.” 

The tracking antenna system can mount two MPU5 MANET radios, each operating on a different RF band, automatically selecting the radio with the best performance to overcome jammers or interference.

Wring added, “By operating on multiple RF bands, you can communicate through adversarial interference. Whether they deny GPS or attack our transmission directly, the system will maintain connectivity.” 

The antenna system is supplied with a single multi-band/multi-polarity antenna feed, with a single feed covering L-, S-, and C-band frequencies. The feed also has independent horizontally and vertically polarized inputs, enabling polarization diversity and maximizing multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) radio capacity.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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