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Phoenix J Band Communications Antenna Housing

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0675
Category: Radio Communication/Sensing
Object Type: Module/Sub-Assembly/Component
Object Name: Phoenix J Band Communications Antenna Housing
Part No: 306.019.01709 Iss B
Serial No: CRM71671, 71672
Manufacturer: Unknown
Division: Unknown
Platform(s): Phoenix UAV
Year of Manufacture: Unknown
Dimensions: Width (mm): 350
Height (mm): 350
Depth (mm): 350
Weight (g): 1,200
Location: Rack RAA06 [Main Store]



This is the complete Transmitter/Receiver Unit within its protective ‘nosecone’.

The Phoenix Mission Pod is mounted on the underside of the fuselage on stabilising pod roll arms. The sensor turret is mounted on the underside of the pod. The two-axis stabilised turret houses a BAE Systems Thermal Imaging Common Module (TICM II), providing 60° x 40° field of view. A Thales Optronics (formerly Pilkington) telescope provides magnification from x2.5 to x10. The sensor can be locked at a preset elevation or can be set to automatic scanning mode for missions involving area search. When Phoenix is orbiting a target, the line of sight can be locked to a point on the ground so the sensor is steered to remain on target.

The Data Link provides the radio frequency communication between the Ground Control Station and the Air Vehicle. It is comprised of three essential elements:

• Ground Data Terminal

• Transmitter/ Receiver units

• highly directional antenna system

The Transmitter/ Receiver provides a command link for ground to air data, a video link for air to ground data and provision for housekeeping air to ground data. Image data is transmitted by a steered, 360° J-band video data link to the ground data terminal and then by cable to the control station up to 1km away. (NATO J band is the designation given to the radio frequencies from 10 to 20 GHz (equivalent to wavelengths between 3 and 1.5 cm)).


The ground control unit consists of a ground control station vehicle and a ground data terminal towed by a Land Rover. The ground control station is operated by a crew of three: mission controller, air vehicle controller and image analyst. The shelter contains three workstations equipped with high resolution colour displays. The operator is able to select a thermal image view of the battlefield or a map displaying the positions of the target and the UAV.  Target data could be transmitted to the forward artillery units by the Battlefield Artillery Targeting System (BATES) directly to the guns.

The antenna was tested at BAE Systems Rochester using a rig constructed in the 40ft Hanger space above the offices. A test area was created on a balcony from the mezzanine floor and a target was positioned on the inside of the old Hanger doors; the rig is still in place (2018).

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