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Advanced Structures & Materials

Annual Plan

Multi-Band Communication Antenna Systems for Ground Vehicles Enabled by Advanced RF Packaging Integration

Project Summary

Principal Investigator

  • John Papapolymerou, Jeffrey Nanzer (co-PI), Michigan State University


  • Mauro Ettorre, Mahmood Haq, Satish Udpa, Michigan State University


  • Amer Abu Arisheh, Bhargav Avireni, Alexandra Bannon, Daniel Chen, Yihang Chu, Michael Dittman,Corwin Hilton,Robert Hipple,Jacob Randall, Michigan State University


  • Nathan A. Tison, US Army GVSC

Project began Q4 2022.

The goal of this research is to develop a lightweight, flexible low-profile conformal antenna system that supports the emerging 5G Cellular, WiFi, DSRC/C-V2X and is sufficiently flexible to support other Army comm systems for ground military platforms. The resulting proposed designs will integrate antennas into existing non-metallic lightweight body structures of the proposed army ground vehicles. Two technology platforms will be utilized: flexible multilayer organic packaging and additive manufacturing (3D printing) with the latter being the ultimate goal of integrating antenna systems on additively manufactured ground vehicle body parts.

Specifically, there are three key fundamental research objectives of this work:

  1. Low-VHF band conformal antenna integration – In this band,the fundamental research is in the 3D multi-layer packaging of the electronics technology at the aperture. It is recognized that the antenna design and methodology at low frequency is mature and the focus is on an extreme level of package heterogeneous integration enabled by multi-layer organic and printed packaging techniques involving the fundamental exploration of materials and device combinations, thermal properties, robustness, and re-workability. If successful, the approach should be able to rapidly accommodate changes in the underlying electronics and antennas without expensive re-design and manufacturing cycles.
  2. 1-18 GHz technology – Over this frequency range, a very large number of system functions occur on the battlefield and the basic electronics approaches tend to be proprietary to the aperture developer, and much more expensive and fragile. In this range, MSU leverages its very strong recent basic research and publication record to address a basic strategy for integrating an antenna structure that requires conformal integration of multiple antennas and the replacement of complex multi-module RF electronic systems with integrated packages that address the extremely challenging interconnection and feed issues over this wide band. Fundamentally, the approach proposed here would enable the integration of disparate