Antennas

Antennas

As the satellite's ears and mouth, antennas capture radio signals and then direct them to the appropriate instrument for decoding. Transmitting their signals across thousands of miles of space, our antennas must endure everything from harsh temperature extremes to micrometeorite impacts. Since the radio spectrum is so broad and the applications are so unique, many antenna types are required — and expertise in multiple areas is needed to provide antennas that operate reliably for years.

Northrop Grumman Space Technology is a world leader in all types of antenna technology. With coverage from 10 MHz to 100 GHz, we've been at the forefront in ultra-broadband antennas, frequency selective surfaces, multi-beam apertures, lens antennas, deployable mesh antennas, beam forming networks and antenna test methods that have supported, for many decades, scientific missions and national security.

Our reflector antennas span 40 ft. in diameter but, when stowed for launch, are no bigger than a compact truck. Antennas such as those on AEHF render an adversary ineffective with "adaptive nulling" and create a narrow pencil beam that allows very weak signals to be "heard." When the mission calls for many users to access a satellite at the same time, we offer multi-beam antennas with gimbal mechanisms that steer beams to any location on Earth. Our graphite composite materials keep launch costs to a minimum and make possible large, precision, antenna structures that are ultra lightweight and strong.

The need to rapidly exchange information among many users led us to develop phased arrays, which are made up of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of tiny elements that work in unison to create whatever beam type is needed. The entire antenna can reconfigure itself at the speed of light to create a single beam or link hundreds of separate beams with ground, air and sea terminals. These beams are electronically steerable, and they can adaptively null multiple jammers, identify their location and transmit their coordinates to ground forces.

With the most sophisticated antenna test facilities in the world, we offer far-field ranges, anechoic chambers, near-field scanners, compact ranges and environmental test chambers to verify antenna performance as cost efficiently as possible.

We continue to focus on critical antenna capabilities for reflectors, phased arrays as well as test techniques to meet customers' demands for wider bandwidth, greater security and lower costs. Our technology base continues to produce innovative antenna solutions that will implement an Internet-like network in space with almost unlimited bandwidth. As we integrate digital, radio frequency and optical technologies, we'll play a key role in competing for the best antennas to link our armed forces and national security agencies.