News>MicroSatCom Terminal, Inventor Win Prestigious Tech Award
(From left) Dr. J. Scott Deiter, FLC Chair; Cynthia Gonsalves, FLC Department of Defense Representative; Franklin Hoke Jr., FLC Laboratory Representative for AFRL-RI; David Sikora, FLC Air Force Representative; and Dr. Theresa Baus, FLC Vice Chair. (AFRL Image)
4/3/2012 - ROME, New York -- The Air Force Research Laboratory's Information Directorate's X-Band MicroSatCom Terminal took home the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) Excellence in Technology Transfer Award. This yearly award is one of the most prestigious in technology transfer. The honor brings great credit and national recognition to the Air Force, Air Force Material Command, Air Force Research Laboratory and the Information Directorate.
AFRL's David Legare developed a satellite communications terminal to be used by soldiers in the field. The terminal is designed to access X-band and Ka-band radio frequencies through the Department of Defense high capacity Wideband Global SATCOM satellites, in a portable package previously unavailable to the warfighter.
The X-Band MicroSatCom Terminal comprises three state-of-the-art advancements in portable satellite communications systems, including an advanced antenna reflector with segmented "petals" that quickly unfold to operate the terminal and just as quickly re-fold for compact stowage and easy transport. The application of advanced nanomaterials technologies allow for the production of lightweight, rugged, highly efficient antenna reflectors and techniques for integrating these nanomaterials into an inexpensive thermoplastic molding process.
The knowledge was successfully transferred to Eclipse Composites to develop the technology into a deliverable commercial product. This was accomplished through several technology transfer mechanisms, including a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement and two Patent License Agreements. This system is currently meeting and exceeding the requirements for the Air Force's Special Operations Command.