Tech Briefs

Engineers evaluate F-35 Joint Strike Fighter antenna performance using a unique far-field aperture measurement facility.

The AFRL/Lockheed Martin team began the test program by evaluating preproduction satellite communications, Global Positioning System, and ultra-high-frequency/ very-highfrequency communications antennas. Subsequent test phases will baseline production antenna performance on a clean aircraft configuration, with further testing efforts aimed at evaluating the impact of various external weapons configurations on aperture performance. Engineers will use the installed antennas to validate design, verify performance, reduce risk, and improve system performance modeling and simulation. Another benefit resulting from this testing will be a reduced number of F-35 flight tests required to verify avionics performance. Engineers will also use the existing model to measure antennato- antenna isolation to support F-35 radio frequency compatibility verification. Program personnel expect the testing to continue through 2008.

Capt Gabriel Mounce, of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Information Directorate, wrote this article. For more information, contact TECH CONNECT at (800) 203-6451 or place a request at Reference document IF-H-05-05.