Engineers from MBDA Missile Systems, working in conjunction with Swansea University research staff, have developed an innovative, compact, low-cost global navigation satellite system (GNSS) anti-jam antenna that is specifically suited for smaller caliber-guided weapons.
Prototyped and tested as part of the French/UK Materials and Components for Missiles Innovation Technology Partnership (MCM ITP) program, the Novel Null Steering Antenna 2 (NNSA2) project has matured the antenna and associated electronics to a point where it is available for transition to a product. The design – featuring a 150 mm-diameter Slot Based Microstrip Patch Antenna and embedding a ‘scan, monitor, and lock' algorithm that intelligently steers the null in the direction of arrival of interference – offers a capability in applications where traditional anti-jam devices would be unsuitable owing to their size, mass, and cost.
GNSS signals are recognized as a crucial navigation technology for medium- and long-range precision attack missiles, providing a means to correct the drift inherent to inertial measurement units. With the proliferation of low-cost GNSS jammers able to disrupt or deny GNSS, requirements are growing for anti-jam antennas able to null out the effect of the jammer by adjusting the antenna's gain profile.
However, previous anti-jam antenna devices – based on Controlled Reception Pattern Antennas (CRPAs) and their associated antenna control unit electronics – are typically large and heavy, consume a large amount of power, and carry a high unit cost, GBP10,000+ (USD13,400+). They may also fall under the purview of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) export controls, thereby limiting the scope for international sales.
Click here to learn more about MCM ITP program.
Click here to learn more about CRPA.