This month, FIRST RF completed testing and delivery of the latest shipset of our FRF-240 radar phased array. This radar antenna sets the standard for Detect and Avoid (DAA) performance for large unmanned aerial systems operating around the globe. Measurements collected using FIRST RF's on-site near-field antenna range are used to accurately calibrate these antenna systems, ensuring the success of their critical safety-of-flight mission.
This summer, a small interdisciplinary team of FIRST RF engineers completed successful flight testing of a millimeter-wave (165-180 GHz) passive radiometer. This instrument provides real-time detection of icing hazards that are created by clouds composed of super-cooled liquid water. The information from this device allows the pilot to safely fly fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft—especially unmanned aerial systems—in a much wider range of operating conditions. FIRST RF plans to mature this technology to offer a first-of-its-kind product to support both commercial and military aircraft.
Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, today announced three strategic partners which will play key roles in Gogo's development of its 5G system and network. A true 5G experience requires every piece of the network and the onboard system hardware, software and antennas to be 5G capable. FIRST RF is pleased to be Gogo's 5G airborn antenna provider. Read more...
Earlier today, the Air Force Academy’s FalconSAT-6 satellite was successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. One of the FalconSAT-6 payloads, the Harmonic Ionospheric Propagation Experiment (HIPE) features FIRST RF’s FRF-239, a broadband antenna system based on one of our patented antenna technologies. We are proud to have been part of the Air Force Academy team, and congratulate them on the successful launch. Read more…
FIRST RF is excited to have our phased array technology featured in Popular Science. We are proud to be a supplier to Raytheon for their Low Power Radar (LPR) program as we continue to advance the state of the art in low-cost, high-performance phased array antennas.
FIRST RF's wideband synthetic aperture radar (SAR) antenna technology was recently featured in an Air Force SBIR Success Story: http://y2u.be/wP9gxMgsi94. Since its initial demonstration during this Air Force SBIR, the technology featured in this video has been adapted to a variety of FIRST RF products supporting a variety of missions, including electronic warfare (EW), electronic sensing (ES), and communications. More information about these products can be found on FIRST RF's new products page.
FIRST RF recently completed a successful multi-node airborne flight test demonstration with the Air Force as part of an SBIR Phase II program. The Low-Power-Cost-Weight, Rapidly-Installable, Medium-Range Interplane Communications Capability (LIMRICC) system provides operational capability to establish and maintain IP communication supporting VoIP, FMV, file transfer, and web services. With multiple ground and airborne nodes, the demonstration showcased the capabilities of a next-generation ground/airborne mesh network system. The FIRST RF approach leverages MIMO technology by swapping existing UHF antenna installations with a multi-band FRF-161-501 antenna to maintain existing line of sight (LOS) communications while adding this new capability without the need for additional costly installations. By utilizing multiple installation locations, FIRST RF was able to overcome installed pattern and multipath challenges on wide-body aircraft. Partnering these antennas with FIRST RF bi-directional amplifiers as well as MIMO radios resulted in successfully meeting the program demonstration objectives.
This week, Boulder lost one of its greatest and most accomplished citizens, Robert (Bob) E. Munson. Many Boulderites will remember him for his infectious smile at the family vegetable stand and farmer’s market next to his beloved heirloom tomatoes, squash, pumpkins and sweet corn that he grew with tender, loving care for years. Restaurants touted his fresh produce on their menus and Community Food Share distributed his harvest to the less fortunate. His contributions to sustainable local farming in Boulder will be recited for many years to come.
Bob’s most notable accomplishment in business and technology was his invention of microstrip (miniature) antennas that led to the foundation of Ball Brothers Research Corporation antenna group. This was one of the greatest revolutions in the history of miniature electronics that led to billions of dollars of economic growth, hundreds of applications, and thousands of jobs across the nation. The founders and many of the employees of FIRST RF Corporation were students of Bob, learning from him not only the design of antennas but the love for technology and the desire to reach for the best in our work. For that, we will always remain indebted to him and he will be etched in our memories.
Bob’s greatest accomplishment was his legacy of his family, wife Marcy, and sons Mike and Chris and their families. We offer our deepest condolences to them.
We will always remember Bob and are grateful for knowing him and everything he did for all of us.
~ Employees and management of FIRST RF Corporation
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.’s (GA-ASI’s) successful flight testing of its Due Regard Radar (DRR) included a FIRST RF X-band Active Electronically Steered Array (AESA). The FRF-240 radar phased array antenna was used in the airborne Sense and Avoid (SAA) system testing aboard a Predator B test aircraft. The GA-ASI DRR system demonstrations in December 2014 utilized a pair of FRF-240 arrays to provide accurate real-time tracking of multiple targets. Read more...