RF Shorts for May 3, 2013

Kymeta's “Aero Antenna”

Amy Svitak at Aviationweek.com 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.”

Comments and RF related news items are welcome. Email me at dlung@transmitter.com

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.