Mission-Critical Rugged Military Antennas


Military antennas are mission-critical because their failure can degrade or disrupt communications that are vital to land, sea, air, or space operations. These antennas must be rugged enough to work in harsh environments ranging from desert sands and artic tundra to windswept mountains and rainy jungles. Military antennas also need to withstand salt water, high altitudes, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) – a growing problem because of the proliferation of electronics and the use of electronic jamming during warfare. If military communications are inconsistent, the success of the mission is at risk.

MIL-STD-810G and Military Antennas

Antenna reliability is mission-critical because modern military operations depend upon wireless communications for everything from a soldier’s handheld radio to satellites that communicate targeting information. There are different standards for ruggedness, but MIL-STD-810G is a benchmark that’s become so popular that even the consumer electronics industry uses it with smartphones. MIL-STD-810G wasn’t designed for civilian applications, however, and is U.S. military standard (MIL-STD) prepared specifically for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

MIL-STD-810G is an environmental test method standard that covers 29 different areas. It doesn’t impose design specifications upon manufacturers but describes what it calls an “environmental tailoring process throughout the material acquisition life cycle”. In other words, antennas that comply with MIL-STD-810G can withstand the extreme environmental conditions encountered during military operations. These include but are not limited to high and low temperatures; rain, humidity, and salt fog; shock and vibration; and solar radiation (sunshine).

Multi-Polarized Military Antennas

MP Antenna of Elyria, Ohio (USA) designs and manufactures antennas that meet the requirements of MIL-STD-810G. These Made in America solutions feature patented three-dimensional designs, built-in spatial diversity on every feed, and are tested under real-world conditions. MP’s Rugged Wave™ antennas are good choice for military customers because they have a radome that resists rainwater, salt water, impacts, and clouds of dust and gas. By contrast, standard dipole antennas may not resist shock and vibration.

Importantly, military antennas from MP Antenna are multi-polarized so that they receive signals in all polarizations and not just along one or two planes. This enables reflected signals to become usable under non-line-of-sight (NLOS) conditions, such as when landscape features or built structures separate sending and receiving antennas. Depending on the mission’s requirements, military buyers can choose antennas with directional or non-directional patterning

To learn more MP Antenna’s solutions for military communications, contact us.