Emerging Opportunities for Phased Arrays on U.S. Warships

 In In the News, MILSATCOM

The U.S. Navy is taking a hard look at next-gen SATCOM antennas to take advantage of new LEO and MEO constellations. Our CTO William (Bill) Milroy takes a deep dive into the requirements, problems and solutions in the June 2021 issue of Satellite Mobility World. Editor Alan Gottlieb posed the questions below. Read his answers in the article, Emerging Opportunities for Phased Arrays on U.S. Warships.

I understand that the Navy is now very interested in phased array antennas. Can you outline the issues that have excited their interest? 

I notice you recently won a contract to provide a VICTS antenna to the U.S. Navy for shipboard testing.  Can you tell our readers more about this program and the opportunity? 

What are some of the requirements for next-gen naval SATCOM antennas in terms of performance, environmental and form factors – currently and in the future? 

How does your VICTS technology uniquely meet these requirements?

I understand that new stealth-designed naval ships will require multi-channel communications while eliminating the large stabilized parabolic dish radomes above decks. Will a VICTS, “array of arrays,” be able to satisfy this requirement? Can you explain how? Bill discusses embedding 7 individual 1-meter arrays (pictured) in a ship’s superstructure, eliminating the visual and physical footprint of legacy parabolic dishes.

What about the electronically steered antennas (ESAs) that are in various stages of development?  What benefits can they bring to the table?  Likewise, what are their limitations for deployment on a naval warship? 

Can you tell us more about sidelobe issues?

What’s the status of the DIU evaluation process under this program, and what are the next steps?

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