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Researchers Apply for Provisional Patent for Antenna Concept

Fargo, N.D. – NDSU and the University of North Dakota have filed a provisional patent application for technology that integrates antennas into the body or other large components of manned and unmanned aircraft systems, often called UAS.

The whole-body antenna would reduce the aircraft’s weight and also reduce the drag associated with traditional antennas. That’s important, particularly with the relatively small UAS, because the concept will allow for greater range, longer endurance and enhanced reliability. The antenna system also will enhance the ability to collect and transmit data from stationary antennas or electronics. In one configuration, rotating or moving sections of the vehicle such as propellers, wheel rims, ailerons, elevators or rudders would allow for the physical movement of antenna beam patterns to improve communications and reliability.

Collaborators on the project are Michael Corcoran, UAS course manager with the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at UND, and Raj Bridgelall, program director for the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute’s Center for Surface Mobility Applications and Real-time Simulation environments at NDSU.

A provisional patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office signals the intent of NDSU and UND to patent the technology and establishes a date for locking in any potential patent rights and benefits.

This is the second provisional patent application filed jointly by the two universities in the past year. Earlier, researchers filed a provisional patent application for a concept in which aircraft bodies serve as capacitors for storing electrical charges. The capacitors could be assembled in such a way that they increase the structural strength of the aircraft while increasing efficiency and stored power available for flight time or other functions.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

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