The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the research and development arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, announced the start of a multi-year research effort to significantly boost the performance of electrically small antennas (ESAs) — or antennas that are much smaller than the wavelength of signals they send and receive.
Shrinking the size of electronics is not possible without creating smaller and more powerful antennas. The Effective Quantitative Antenna Limits for Performance (EQuAL-P) program will revolutionize ESAs by reducing their size, increasing their data rates, strengthening their broadband signal transmission, and lowering their frequency of operations among other advancements.
“IC antenna engineers are constantly asked for better performance from ever-smaller devices, but they are up against the fundamental laws of physics,” said program manager Dr. Paul Kolb. “EQuAL-P seeks to resolve this, not by breaking these laws, but by rethinking the assumptions they are based upon and equipping engineers with new tools.”
Through a competitive Broad Agency Announcement, IARPA awarded EQuAL-P research contracts to address the full range of research objectives to the following teams:
- Boeing Research & Technology
- HRL Laboratories, LLC
- North Carolina State University
- The Pennsylvania State University
- Raytheon BBN Technologies
- SRI International
- University of Wisconsin–Madison
- The Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles
Test and evaluation work for the program will be performed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, and the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division.