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Russian company blatantly copies US unique inflatable antenna system

Posted by Dylan Malyasov on


Director of the Russian company “NEBO” Artem Mazanov, during an interview,  that they successfully developed the new inflatable antenna system.

According to a news report published on the 74.ru news website, Russia’s company from Chelyabinsk has developed the unique ultra-portable inflatable antenna system on the technologies used by the US military.

“We’ve been approached by the radio engineering institute in Rostov-on-Don and asked if we could develop the same antenna… I dealt with it personally at my own expense simply because it was interesting to me – I got this idea on fire. In fact, now there are such antennas only in the USA. And now we have,” – noted director of NEBO company.

The new Russian antenna system is a sealed ball made of durable material, the seams are glued together by special equipment. Together with all the equipment it weighs only a few tens of kilograms and can be used for mobile groups.

The new development almost completely copies the unique inflatable antenna system developed by US-based GATR Technologies (GATR), a subsidy of the Cubic Corporation. Just like Russian copy, the GATR antenna system is inflatable and deploy easily, enabling high-bandwidth satellite communications.

GATR’s antenna system is a unique ultra-portable design that can provide high-bandwidth communications for transmission of secure and non-secure data, voice, and video, all in a compact package. The design integrates a patented inflatable radome with a precision antenna, allowing all components to fit in a backpack weighing less than 23 kg.

The Ground Antenna Transmitter and Receiver (GATR). Photo by Staff Sgt. Mikki Sprenkle

The antennas can be air dropped to a military unit or transported as commercial baggage, which is a competitive edge that supports the effectiveness of expeditionary missions.

Inflatable satellite antennas for US troops were demonstrated in 2014 when the US Army concluded a five-year contract with GATR Technologies to supply 36 such complexes for $ 440 million.

The Russian system almost completely inherits the design of the American original.

What do you think?