ViaSat has been granted a patent for an innovative artificial magnetic conductor (AMC) antenna apparatus. The ground plane includes memory metal wires that enable the antenna to be collapsed for stowing. This technology enhances antenna flexibility and functionality. GlobalData’s report on ViaSat gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on ViaSat, Satellite communication systems was a key innovation area identified from patents. ViaSat's grant share as of February 2024 was 55%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Flexible artificial magnetic conductor antenna apparatus

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: ViaSat Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11923608B2) discloses an artificial magnetic conductor (AMC) antenna apparatus designed for efficient deployment on unmanned carriers, such as orbital satellites. The apparatus includes a ground plane with a conductive base surface, a frequency selective surface (FSS) layer comprising conductive patches, and memory metal wires that rigidly connect the FSS layer to the base surface during operation but can flex to collapse the FSS layer when the antenna is stowed. Additionally, a flexible antenna element layer with at least one antenna element is positioned above the FSS layer, providing a compact and versatile design for space applications.

The patent further details a method for deploying the AMC antenna on an unmanned carrier, involving storing the antenna in a retaining structure and using an actuator to remove it for deployment. The memory metal wires within the antenna automatically transition from flexible to rigid states based on ambient temperature, ensuring the FSS layer is correctly spaced from the base surface once deployed. The retaining structure maintains the antenna in a coiled state, allowing for efficient unrolling during deployment, along with a flexible antenna feed that unrolls alongside the antenna element layer. This innovative design aims to enhance the efficiency and reliability of AMC antennas in space applications, particularly on unmanned carriers like orbital satellites, showcasing advancements in antenna technology for aerospace industries.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.