MARLBOROUGH, Mass., 29 June 2009. During a recent flight test, Raytheon successfully demonstrated antenna technology that improves and delivers on the next generation of airborne communications for wide-body aircraft.
The Advanced Multiband Communication Antenna System (AMCAS), developed for the U.S. Air Force, is an extremely low-profile antenna that significantly reduces drag on an aircraft, Raytheon officials say. Attaching to the aircraft skin, the antenna extends 8.5 inches. This solution, which simplifies installation and minimizes time out of service, is an affordable alternative to today's antennas, which require more extensive and complex installations and extend considerably farther from the aircraft's fuselage.
During the test, the AMCAS antenna, which is being evaluated for use with the family of advanced line-of-sight terminals, communicated with the Milstar satellite's medium data rate waveform. FAB-T is the Air Force's next-generation communications system.
"This test … shows a clear path forward to delivering even higher data rates when the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite comes online," says Jerry Powlen, vice president, Network Centric Systems Integrated Communications Systems. "This technology is a promising alternative for troops on the ground, sailors at sea, and both international and commercial markets."
The AMCAS antenna was attached and flown on a Lincoln Laboratory 707 test bed aircraft.
AMCAS uses Raytheon's Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub technology, which was developed with ThinKom Solutions, Inc.