What is a VICTS Antenna?

What is a Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub Antenna or VICTS Antenna?

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- everything RF

Apr 14, 2023


The Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub (VICTS) antenna is a unique type of antenna used in communication and navigation systems. It works by utilizing a series of transverse stubs arranged in a particular pattern to create a broad frequency range with high gain, making it suitable for a variety of applications, including military and civilian communication systems.


The continuous transverse stubs of a VICTS antenna are arranged in a particular pattern. The arrangement of the stubs is designed to create a resonant structure that amplifies the electromagnetic waves of the desired frequency range. This allows the antenna to transmit and receive signals over a wide range of frequencies. When a signal is transmitted or received, it travels through the stubs of the antenna, where it is amplified and directed towards the receiver or transmitter. Other antennas may not be capable of providing such a broad frequency range or may require additional components to achieve high gain.

A VICTS Antenna’s design allows it to amplify electromagnetic waves in the frequency range from several megahertz (MHz) to several gigahertz (GHz). The exact frequency range that the VICTS antenna can cover depends on its specific design and application. For example, the VICTS antenna has been used in military communication systems to cover a frequency range from 30 MHz to 400 MHz. It has also been used in navigation systems to cover a frequency range from 100 MHz to 1 GHz. The VICTS antenna's ability to cover a broad frequency range makes it a versatile solution for a variety of applications.

One of the most unique features of the VICTS antenna is its variable inclination design. The inclination of the antenna can be adjusted to optimize its performance for different frequencies, altitudes, and speeds allowing it to be used in a variety of applications. For example, the antenna can be used for airborne communication and navigation systems, where it can be adjusted to optimize its performance for different altitudes and speeds. The antenna's inclination is controlled by a motor, which rotates the antenna around its vertical axis. This allows the antenna to be adjusted to the optimal inclination angle for a particular application.

VICTS antennas were basically developed from continuous transverse stub (CTS) antennas which are typical frequency-scanning and leaky-wave antennas. The antenna radiates through the upper plate named the CTS layer, which is composed of slots and stubs. When rotating the transverse stubs of a CTS antenna relative to the feed structure, the CTS antenna evolves into a VICTS antenna and possesses beam scanning capability.

The VICTS antenna is known for its ability to withstand harsh environments. Its design allows it to operate in extreme temperatures and resist damage from electromagnetic interference. This feature makes it suitable for use in military applications, where it may be exposed to hostile environments.

Another advantage of the VICTS antenna is its low profile. Different functional layers of this antenna are rotated in a plane to steer variation of elevation, azimuth, and polarization angles of the beam. Compared with an active phased array antenna, the feed structures of this low-profile antenna are simpler. Compared to a reflector antenna, the height of the VICTS antenna is only 10 cm for the Ku-band which makes it a prospect for communications on the move. It can be mounted on the surface of an aircraft or other vehicle without protruding significantly, reducing drag and improving performance. This feature is particularly useful in applications where minimizing drag is critical, such as in the design of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other types of aircraft.

The VICTS antenna has also been used in ground-based communication systems, where it provides a reliable and high-performance solution for long-range communication. It can be used in a variety of applications, including maritime, land-based, and military communication systems.