RESEARCH AREA 4: ELECTRONICS: Reconfigurable Electrofluidic Networks for Highly Adaptive Electronic Warfare Platforms
Jacob James Adams
Project runs from 04/21/2017 to 04/20/2020
Military communication, navigation, and radar systems must operate in electromagnetically contested environments with high fidelity. In this environment, the ideal electromagnetic (EM) platform consists of a multi-functional (sensing, communications, electronic attack) and highly adaptive, able to generate and sense radiation across a wide range of frequencies, with controllable directional and polarization sensitivity. Among the critical needs for such “smart” radios are reconfigurable antennas that can dynamically change their radiation patterns or frequency response. Here we propose networks of liquid metal embedded in the skin of a vehicle, aircraft, or other communications/sensing platform. These electrofluidic (EF) networks are physically reconfigurable – the conductors can be moved in and out of particular channels to change the electromagnetic characteristics of the platform. The proposed work encompasses several goals towards controlling and realizing these EF networks.