The U.S. Navy wants a low-profile antenna for satellite communications. The small business innovation research proposal calls for a lightweight, high-bandwidth antenna that can transmit with as much power as a standard-sized antenna at 14 megabits per second. It should be also capable of operating on X, Ku, and Ka bands and potentially over the Tactical Common Data Link.
The goal is to design an antenna that can be mounted on aircraft without inducing drag. "Standard size satellite antennas have a greater height projection which creates greater aerodynamic drag," says the Navy announcement. "An antenna with a lower outward projection that does not sacrifice antenna gain does not currently exist. A successful antenna could be used for 'through the rotor' helicopter applications on Vertical Take-off Unmanned Air Vehicle and other manned helicopters."
The antenna should be capable of continuous operations no matter what maneuver the aircraft performs. It should not weigh more than 35 pounds, have an antenna aperture diameter of 18 inches or less, and a radome height that does not exceed 15 inches.
Related: Read the proposal.