Optisys to Utilise FUSE technology for Ultra-Wideband Array Capability

Optisys, a privately-owned RF design and metal additive manufacturing company, announced that it has signed an agreement with MITRE to utilise its patented FUSE technology for widespread deployment to Optisys customers. The FUSE technology was created by MITRE on behalf of the US Government, to help reduce time, effort, footprint, and cost when installing antennas on vehicles and structures. FUSE, when combined with Optisys array technology, allows ultra-wideband RF arrays to be commercially produced with a frequency ratio of up to 10:1 from a very low-profile aperture. This new development will have a great impact on a multitude of platforms and introduce new capabilities for communication and radar arrays.

Our technology has always been very wideband in comparison to our competitors,” explained Michael Hollenbeck, CTO at Optisys, “historically our designs have allowed up to 4:1 bandwidth ratio which encompassed all of the Ku and Ka-band for instance. With this new geometry, that is particularly amenable to additive manufacturing, we have gained access to much larger frequency ratios, for example from X to Ka-band with very low cross-polarization; this is unheard of within the industry.

This new capability is of great interest for SATCOM users, or providers, looking to deploy one passive or phased array that can link to several platforms using different frequencies, either in sea, land, air or space platforms. The FUSE technology will allow one low SWaP solution to provide this function, replacing multiple antennas and systems. To prove this feat, an Optisys produced FUSE antenna has already been successfully deployed into space aboard a 3U Cubesat to demonstrate a multi-frequency satellite data relay service. In preparation for the launch, the antenna underwent extensive testing, to prove the antenna could withstand the harsh environment of space.

Another emerging technology, known as Multi-Function RF Systems (MFRFS), where one aperture is used for radar, communications, and electronic warfare, could now be a reality with the addition of FUSE to Optisys technology. One device really could operate in such a wide span of frequencies, for example with radar in C and X, and communication in X, Ku and Ka-band, that one aircraft, drone or wing suspended payload could provide a true multi-role capability encompassing all the electronic warfare, communication relay and ISR functions of many large devices.

Janos Opra, Optisys CEO also mentioned that for a long time ultra-wideband arrays have been desired by the industry, especially as platforms have been decreasing in size while increasing in function integration. He further said that as a market leader in highly integrated RF products, and with the addition of the FUSE technology, they are now perfectly placed to assist in the roll-out of MFRF systems, from sea to space.

The FUSE technology is applicable for all Optisys arrays, whether it be a gimbal-mounted passive array, NAPA Hybrid phased array, or future dual-axis multi-beam developments. Optisys has a solution that suits all budget and performance requirements.