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Low-Cost, Compact Deployable Antenna Boosts Range for Wireless Communications
August 11, 2011

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Researchers at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) have patented a low-cost deployable antenna for use with mobile phones. The antenna consists of a collapsible membrane formed of conductive material; a radiating element capable of transmitting and/or receiving electromagnetic waves; and a ring support formed of a spring-like, deformable material attached to the perimeter of the collapsible membrane. The unique aspect of the innovation is that each of the three antenna elements integrates with commercially available, folding automotive window sunshades. The elements are planar and can be etched on thin, rugged, lightweight printed circuit boards and then temporarily attached to the sunshade membrane. JSC has received patent number 7,126,553 for this technology.


  • Portable: Offers simple, lightweight design
  • Compact: Reduces to 1/6 of its deployed size when stored
  • Economical: Uses low-cost materials


  • Military field communications and surveillance
  • Remote outdoor activities (hiking, camping, mountaineering)
  • Emergency use by stranded travelers (stranded traveler emergency use)
  • Circumstances that call for extending the range of cellular telephones in rural settings


Johnson Space Center has received patent protection (U.S. 7,126,553→) for this technology.

Licensing and Partnering Opportunity

This technology is being made available through JSC's Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office, which seeks to transfer technology into and out of NASA to benefit the space program and U.S. industry. NASA invites companies to consider licensing this technology for commercial applications.

Contact Information

If you would like more information about this technology or about NASA's technology transfer program, please contact:

Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office
NASA's Johnson Space Center
Phone: 281-483-3809
E-mail: jsc-techtran@mail.nasa.gov

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Page Last Updated: January 16th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator