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RF Shorts for May 3, 2013

Kymeta's “Aero Antenna”

Amy Svitak at reports Start-Up Developing Ka-band Antenna For Aircraft. Svitak writes, “Kymeta plans to leverage the coming wave of satellite-based Ka-band broadband with a new fuselage-hugging surface antenna that has no moving parts, is roughly the size of a pizza box and uses only a tiny fraction of the power typically needed for phased-array antennas.”

“Kymeta Chairman and CEO Vern Fotheringham says the ultra-thin structure of the surface antenna's waveguide is designed through a blend of circuit-board manufacturing, chip-fabrication and liquid crystal display techniques. In the case of the Aero Antenna, metamaterial surface elements are tuned to electronically point and steer a radio signal to low, medium or geostationary orbit, providing a continuous broadband link between satellite and aircraft.”

Practical realities limit the antenna to X-band or higher frequencies. Kymeta Chairman and CEO Vern Fotheringham said “We could build an S-band or L-band version of this. It'd just be really big, and there are better ways to do that at those frequencies.”

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