Technology Transfer SSC Pacific
Algorithm for Minimum Antenna Size

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The U.S. Navy seeks to commercialize U.S. Patent Application 11/959,715 (System and method for minimizing the size of an antenna while maintaining given parameters).


In communications, bandwidth and physical size are of the utmost importance for broadband antennas. Current antenna design methods use trial and error. Although the end result may meet the user’s needs, it is often not the optimum antenna solution. Due to the complex shapes of antennas, there is no quick way to calculate and determine the tradeoff between bandwidth and radiation resistance while maintaining the smallest possible antenna design.

The Technology

SSC Pacific has developed an algorithm for an antenna model design based on user requirements that provides antennas at least 50% smaller than using current methods. A ½-wavelength antenna operating at 463 kHz would be over 1,000 feet tall; however, using the algorithm, a 1/12-wavelength antenna operating at 530 kHz that is a mere 164 feet has been fabricated and tested. The bandwidth is 10 kHz and the radiation efficiency is equal to a ¼-wavelength, 464-foot antenna operating at the 530 kHz frequency. The user simply inputs the form factor for the antenna, center frequency, and desired bandwidth, and the algorithm provides the smallest possible antenna design. The algorithm also makes it easy to see and adjust tradeoffs between bandwidth and radiation resistance in addition to other parameters. Several very small, high-bandwidth antennas have been designed.

Key Benefits

  • >50% reduction in antenna height and ground real estate
  • Automates much of the antenna design process
  • Time required to generate antenna solution greatly reduced
  • Algorithm can be tailored to fit many different antenna form factors
  • Small antennas can be designed for any frequency range
  • Lower voltage input requires smaller insulators
  • Increased efficiency due to smaller tuning reactor
  • Development Status

  • U.S. Patent Application pending: 11/959,715
  • Total R&D: $1.5M and 2 years
  • DoD 5000 Series Technology Readiness Level 6: System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • Publications

    For more information on technology transfer, please contact us at (619) 5535118 or email       
    SD 785, May 2008. SSC Pacific, San Diego, CA 921525001. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

    SSC Pacific
    Updated: 2/6/2013 1:22 PM EST   Published