Recent Advances Towards an Integrated X-band Printed Antenna Array
As the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing often employs a wide range of antennas on aircraft manufactured for commercial and defense markets. The Boeing 787 has more than 20 antennas placed along the aircraft fuselage from its front cockpit to the rear stabilizers for communicating with air traffic control as well as other aircraft. Antennas often protrude off the vehicle surface, which increases aircraft noise and decreases aircraft efficiency due to aerodynamic drag. Smaller aircraft, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, are lightweight and have surfaces with low radii of curvature. There is a need for antennas that are low profile, conformal, lightweight, and surface agnostic in nature. Furthermore, an integrated antenna array capable of extending the range of the antenna would be beneficial in remote regions. In recent years, Boeing has developed printed antenna arrays capable of conforming to surfaces with radii of curvature as low as two inches. More recently, Boeing has been working towards integrating electronics with printed antenna arrays to develop a printed antenna array with an integrated transmitter. In this presentation, we will discuss some of the recent advances and challenges towards developing an integrated X-band printed antenna array.