4 April 2015

Next Big Thing in Army SATCOM: Tiny Antennas For Combat Vehicles

By Sandra I. Erwin
April 2015

The Army is poised for a breakthrough that would make command armored vehicles less detectable to enemies and safer to operate.

The idea is to do away with bulky satellite communication dishes and replace them with low-profile distributed aperture terminals — several small antennas working together to act as a single large antenna. The Army has been interested in this technology for years but only started a serious push in 2013.

The problem for the Army is that current SATCOM systems are too bulky and cumbersome to fit inside heavy vehicles like the Bradley or the Abrams tank that have turreted weapon systems. The turret has limited space and power available for a traditional mobile satellite terminal.

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