Active Array Antennas

Learn about Alpha Omega’s innovative array antenna solutions, including projects we have worked on for the U.S. Air Force

Active Array Antenna Development

At Alpha Omega Electromagnetics, we have world class expertise in the development of high-performance antenna array technologies for both fixed beam and wide-scanning phased array applications. From space-based communication and radar systems to terrestrial and marine-based electronic warfare and direction-finding systems, at AOE we have the knowledge and expertise necessary to help you develop any kind of antenna product.

Geodesic Dome Phased Array Earth Station Antenna (GDPAA)

Development for the Air Force​

GDPAA Background

  • Earth Station active array antenna developed for the Air Force for Tracking, Telemetry and Control (TT&C) of satellites for the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN)
  • Proven technology and manufacturing approach, starts with TRL 9, MRL 9 radiator and adds digital elemental beamforming using all-COTS components
  • Easily scales to address variety of LEO, GEO satellite missions
  • 20+ Years Experience Designing and Building L/S active array subarrays

Performance Parameters for GDPAA Subarrays

Uplink Frequency (SGLS transmit)1.764 – 1.842 GHz
Uplink Frequency (USB transmit)2.025 – 2.110 GHz
Downlink Frequency (receive)2.200 –  2.300 GHz
Operating ModeFull Duplex
Transmit Beams1
Receive Beams2 simultaneous
PolarizationRHCP, LHCP selectable 
Axial Ratio< 3 dB
VSWR @ feed< 2:1
Instantaneous bandwidth> 20 MHz
Beam isolation within manifold> 45 dB
Transmit power per element2 W

Geodesic Dome Phased Array Earth Station Antenna Evolution

Air Force PAT DEMO w/ AOE Triangular Subarrays Gen 1, Brick Style: 2 Tx, 2 Rx simultaneous antenna beams

Air Force GDPAA ATD w/ AOE Hexagonal Subarrays Gen 2, Brick Style: 1 Tx, 2 Rx simultaneous antenna beams

Air Force Planar GDPAA Demo Design Gen 3, Planar Style: 1 Tx, 2 Rx simultaneous antenna beams

AOE Planar Array Architecture Offers Substantial Savings in ALL Elements of SWAPC


Previous Subarray

AOE Planar Subarray











2155 cu in

455 cu in







50 lbs

15 lbs


Prime Power

432 W

213 W


Req. Cooling

360 W

141 W


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Advanced Space Antenna for GPS

One panel of an Advanced Space Antenna for GPS developed under an Air Force SBIR program that provides 3 independent Tx antenna beams with simultaneous earth and spot beam coverage. 

Exploded View of Single Array Panel
Parameter Threshold Objective
Transmit Frequencies (L1, L2, L5) 1575.42 MHz, 1227.60 MHz, 1176.45 MHz Same as threshold
Bandwidths (L1, L2, L5) 45 MHz, 20 MHz, 20 MHz 45 MHz, 45 MHz, 20 MHz
Transmit Power per Beam (L1, L2, L5) 250 W, 110 W, 90 W 400 W, 150 W, 150 W
Antenna Patterns L1, L2, L5 – 14° Half-Angle Earth Coverage L1, L2 – 4° Wide Flat-Topped Spot Threshold in addition to superposition of Earth Coverage and 4° Spot
Antenna Gain 15 dBiC Earth Coverage 25 dBiC Flat-Topped Spot 15 dBiC Earth Coverage 27 dBiC Flat-Topped Spot
Operating Mode Continuous Same as threshold
Coverage 14° Half-Angle Cone Same as threshold
Transmit Beams L1, L2 Simultaneous, Independent, L5 Fixed 3 Simultaneous, Independent
Polarization Right Hand Circular Same as threshold
Axial Ratio < 3 dB < 1 dB
VSWR @ Feed < 2:1 Same as threshold
Total Ionizing Dose 1×106 rad(Si) Same as threshold
Single Event Upset 1×10-10 err/bit-day Same as threshold
Single Event Latchup None Same as threshold
Dose-Rate Upset 1×1010 rad(Si)/s Same as threshold
Dose-Rate Survivability 1×1012 rad(Si)/s Same as threshold
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Broadband, Space-Based Active Array Antenna Tile

X-band, broadband (7.5 – 12 GHz), dual-polarized active array antenna tile developed for a space-based radar application.

Predicted and measured gain of X-band, broadband (7.5 – 12 GHz), dual-polarized active array antenna tile

Measured antenna patterns of 2×2 element clusters of X-band, broadband (7.5 – 12 GHz), dual-polarized active array antenna tile

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7 – 12 GHz Active Receive Only Antenna Tiles

  • Developed for a high-power, airborne radar application
  • Simultaneous dual linear polarization operation with high isolation between polarizations
  • Proven technology with 3 generations developed and flown
Figure 9. Measured H-plane pattern of Port J1 at 9.6 GHz.

Table 1. X-band Receive Antenna Tile requirements and predicted performance.




Predicted Performance

Operating frequency

7.0 – 12.0 GHz

> 7.0 – 12.0 GHz

Peak input power to limiter

80 W

> 100 W

Maximum average power input to limiter

4 W

6 W

Amplifier input level for 1 dB output compression

>-19 dBm peak, >-17 dBm average, measured from 7-12 GHz in 1 GHz steps


Amplifier minimum gain

30 dB

>30 dB

Noise figure, antenna input to SMA output connectors)

< 3.8 dB

3.8 dB @ 25°C,

3.3 dB @ -40°C

Tile thickness (not including connectors)

< 0.5”


Shock and vibration




Dual linear, V and H

Dual linear, V and H

Polarization isolation

> 20 dB

> 20 dB

Operating temperature range

-60°F to 120°F (-51°C to 49°C)


3 dB azimuth beamwidth @ 9.5 GHz


35° +/- 1°

3 dB elevation beamwidth @ 9.5 GHz


12.5° +/- 1°


Mounting as specified


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Ka-Band LTCC-Based Array Antenna Tiles

  • Developed for a high-power Ka-band radar application
  • Incorporates broadband, circular polarized radiating aperture
  • Integrated liquid cooling channels
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Advanced Space-Based, Electronically Steerable, Deployable, Dual-Band Reflect Array Antenna for GPS

  • Yields simultaneous high gain transmit beams at L1 and L2 frequencies
  • Allows for simultaneous operation of legacy Earth coverage antenna beams
  • Incorporates low-loss phase shifters developed by AOE to independently, electronically steer the high gain beams

Low-Loss Phase Shifters Developed for AOE’s GPS Reflect Array

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Metamaterial-Inspired Broadband Circular Polarized Radiating Element

  • Developed for X-band array with simultaneous radar, SATCOM uplink and SATCOM downlink operation
  • Simultaneous radar and SATCOM performance achieved though the use of an AOE-developed triplexer and this radiating aperture 
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High Performance Passive Patch Antenna Arrays

Aperture-Coupled Stacked Patch Array

Proximity Coupled Stacked Patch Array

Dual Circular Polarization DBS Antenna

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Collinear Dipole Array



Operating Frequency

902 – 928 MHz

Input VSWR



>8 dBi


Linear, Vertical

H-plane Pattern


E-plane 3 dB Beamwidth


Maximum Input Power

10 W

Input Impedance

50 Ω

Dimensions (Height x Diameter) 

53” x 2.5”


<2 lbs

Input Connector

N Female


2.5” Pole Mount

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Smart Antenna Aperture Design for MMDS Band

Channel-to-Channel Match is Excellent

Dual-Beam, K-Band Space-Based SATCOM Antenna

Antenna Undergoing Antenna Pattern Measurements