Plasma antennas are radio frequency antennas that employ plasma as the guiding medium for electromagnetic radiation.The concept is to use plasma discharge tubes as the antenna elements. When the tubes are energized, they become conductors, and can transmit and receive radio signals.
Description of Plasma Antennas
When they are de-energised, they revert to non-conducting elements and do not reflect probing radio signals. Plasma antenna can be "Steered" electronically. Another feature of the plasma antenna is that it can be turned off rapidly, reducing ringing on pulse transmission.On earth we live upon an island of "ordinary" matter. The different states of matter generally found on earth are solid, liquid, and gas. Sir William Crookes, an English physicist identified a fourth state of matter, now called plasma, in 1879. Plasma is by far the most common form of matter.
Plasma in the stars and in the tenuous space between them makes up over 99% of the visible universe and perhaps most of that which is not visible. Important to ASI's technology, plasmas are conductive assemblies of charged and neutral particles and fields that exhibit collective effects. Plasmas carry electrical currents and generate magnetic fields.When the Plasma Antenna Research Laboratory at ANU investigated the feasibility of plasma antennas as low radar cross-section radiating elements, Redcentre established a network between DSTO ANU researchers, CEA Technologies, Cantec Australasia and Neolite Neon for further development and future commercialization of this technology.
The plasma antenna R & D project has proceeded over the last year at the Australian National University in response to a DSTO (Defence Science and Technology Organisation) contract to develop a new antenna solution that minimizes antenna detectability by radar.