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Advanced Engineering 2018

Northrop to Assist USAF with LOBSTAR

19 March 2004

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NGC) will help the US Air Force (USAF) enhance the surveillance capabilities of aerial vehicles by embedding antennas in the primary load-bearing structures of composite aircraft wings.

The new approach could lead to antennas as large as the surface area of a wing with enough sensitivity to simultaneously detect ground-moving targets through dense foliage and track air-to-air missile threats.

NGC and the Air Force Research Laboratory will share the costs of maturing the antenna integration technology under a five-year, US$ 12 million effort called the Low-Band Structural Array (LOBSTAR) programme.

The effort could benefit unmanned aerial reconnaissance systems such as theAir Force's Global Hawk, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (JUCAS), and the Air Force Research Laboratory's future Sensor Craft concept.