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BOEING DELIVERS NEW FLUSH-MOUNTED ANTENNA TO ROME LAB; DESIGN OFFERS NEW APPLICATIONS ABOARD JETLINERS

 SEATTLE, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing Defense & Space Group announced today it has delivered to Rome Laboratory, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., a compact, flush-mounted antenna designed to offer new communication capabilities for high-performance aircraft, commercial airliners and all-terrain military vehicles.
 The delivered antenna is a simplified version of phased array antennas currently being developed by Boeing for the U.S. Air Force. According to Gordon Roome, Boeing project manager, the antenna's advantage is its compact size. It can be fitted in smaller aircraft, where interior space for equipment is limited.
 Unlike a dish antenna in a protruding radome bubble, which extends from an aircraft's exterior frame, the newly developed antenna -- only five inches thick -- can be flush-mounted to the aircraft skin. That creates less aerodynamic drag on the aircraft and avoids the use of large, pivoting gimbals and steering motors, designers said. The beam is steered electronically and the antenna remains stationary.
 The phased array antenna will provide more communication capacity to the cockpit crews on commercial flights, and allow passengers the benefits of previously unavailable forms of air-to-ground communication services.
 The delivered antenna will be installed on a NASA aircraft as part of an experiment to demonstrate duplex voice and data links from an aircraft platform to an earth terminal, via the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS).
 "The antenna technology originally was developed for use on strategic aircraft interfacing with Milstar (a military satellite communications network)," Roome said. "When fully tested and qualified, these antennas will have a wide range of applications, including military aircraft and Army ground vehicles using the Milstar tactical channels.
 "Scaled to the commercial frequency channels, its capabilities open up a potentially enormous market for these arrays on passenger aircraft."
 In the longer term, Roome added, wider applications are possible for the technology, including use aboard air package transport delivery vehicles and as receive antennas for direct broadcast satellites. He said it also may be possible to equip passenger automobiles with the antenna technology.
 Production arrays are expected to have operating lifetimes comparable to the airframes to which they are mounted, he said, and wouldn't normally require maintenance between major airborne platform overhauls.
 The delivered hardware is a 23-element, 19.9-GHz phased array receive antenna. A 20-GHz receive array and a 44-GHz transmit array, each having 91 elements, will be delivered later in 1993, Roome added.
 Defense & Space Group's Research & Engineering organization is delivering these antennas under a $5-million contract awarded in 1990. Rome Laboratory is the technical director of the contract. The Milstar Airborne Terminals program office at Rome is the contract sponsor.
 -0- 3/18/93
 /CONTACT: Bob Smith of Boeing Defense & Space Group, 206-773-2816/
 (BA)


CO: Boeing Defense & Space Group ST: Washington IN: ARO SU:

LM -- SE009 -- 7570 03/18/93 15:12 EST
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Date:Mar 18, 1993
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