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CDL Antenna For Shared Military Data

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EMS Technologies
: 25 February, 2010  (New Product)
EMS Technologies has produced a range of common data link antennae for airborne, land and shipboard applications
EMS Technologies has announced the company’s comprehensive Common Data Link (CDL) antenna family to support the military’s growing need for mobile connectivity and data-sharing across platforms.

EMS Defense & Space (D&S)’s next-generation CDL antennas are designed for mobile and small airborne, ground, or shipboard platforms, providing higher gain in smaller, lighter packages than current reflector-based products. The company’s CDL antennas support various data rates and ranges to suit customers’ specific requirements, including securely transferring radar images and data from Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft to frontline end users. EMS also provides flexible interface protocols to ensure compatibility with the major CDL radio suppliers.

“We have a family of mechanically-steered antennas that go from 20 to 30 dB of gain. EMS can also provide all of the other necessary antenna system components, including IF (intermediate frequency) to RF (radio frequency) conversion, low-noise amplifiers, filters, power supplies, and antenna control processors that calculate how to point the antenna,” comments Norm Johnson, vice president of Business Development, EMS D&S.

Johnson adds, “The CDL market has evolved so that there are now compact radios at attractive prices. In order for the technology to become ubiquitous, the next frontier for CDL is the development and production of antennas for smaller, mobile platforms--which is where EMS comes in. Our CDL antenna family thrives in harsh, dynamic environments that require antennas that are smaller, lighter weight and lower profile, including man-portable, airborne, UAV and shipboard environments.”

Several of EMS’s airborne and ground-based antenna systems have already been delivered and will be deployed later this year. The company’s 23-dB and 27-dB airborne antennas have been demonstrated to support data rates of 45 megabits per second at up to 150 nautical miles, and lower data rates at over 200 nautical miles. In addition, a multi-beam airborne CDL relay antenna system has been successfully demonstrated at the US Naval Air Systems Command at Pax River in Southern Maryland. EMS also offers an Omni CDL antenna that supports ranges of up to 50 miles when communicating with other higher-gain antennas.

L3 Communications West recently selected EMS’s 27-dB antenna for the US Navy CDL Hawklink program. The EMS antenna, which begins shipping in third quarter, will increase current data rates for the Navy MH-60R to 22 megabits per second, supporting a range of surveillance, warfare and recovery missions.

For shipboard applications, EMS is developing a 36 dB antenna for the shipboard market that will leverage the company’s already developed ground-based positioners.

To date, EMS has provided CDL antennas to Cubic, Harris Corp. and BAE, and is on contract to deliver antennas to L3 Communications West, starting in third quarter 2010

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