Communication support material
This video is presenting the novel composite fuselage panel that can be used for the conformal and full integration of electronically steerable phased array antennas.
The fuselage panel has a Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) skin with a Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) window. The skin is stiffened at the inner side by a regular orthogrid cell structure with CFRP ribs. The orthogrid panel has been designed according to typical structural requirements: the CFRP skin with glass window can carry shear loads and the CFRP ribs can carry compression and tension loads of an aircraft crown fuselage. For the manufacturing of this lattice structure an automated fibre placement machine and autoclave were used. In the autoclave the ribs were supported by a re-usable silicone vacuum bag (no tooling blocks were required).
The structurally integrated Ku-band antenna itself consists of 6 by 6 of tiles, each of them made out of three separate complex multi-layerPCBs (Printed Circuit Boards): the antenna PCB, the RF distribution PCB and the amplifier PCB. In combination with a broadband beamforming network a fully structurally steerable antenna is obtained that can be used for satellite communication on board of aircraft.