Multiband Antenna Slashes Multi-Radio Costs

Nether Wallop, U.K.: The U.K.’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) has come up with a novel multiband antenna design that’s expected to cost less than 10 cents in volume, saving bill of materials (BOM) costs by replacing several antennas.

The patented design was created to eliminate multiple antennas in military equipment. It’s available from Ploughshare Innovations, the company that licenses intellectual property (IP) developed by DSTL.

The wideband antenna is a cylindrical “top hat” shape employing a novel capacitive coupling structure to provide good RF performance characteristics across multiple bands.

One current PCB-mountable (printed-circuit board) prototype version of the antenna has been produced and tested for operation over the 2.1- to 5-GHz band, where it offers an omnidirectional radiation pattern with a gain of 5 dBi, a radiation efficiency of more than 95%, and a 1.92:1 voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR).

This high level of performance is achieved by an antenna structure assembled from just four simple metal and dielectric parts with a BOM cost that’s expected to be under 10 cents in volume.

The example design has an overall height of 1.5 cm and a footprint diameter of 2 cm. By varying the mechanical geometries and the properties of the dielectric material, the antenna’s propagation characteristics may be tuned for other RF bands of interest to OEMs.

Ploughshare has also produced a design prototype for a second version of the antenna that can operate across an even wider range of frequencies, such as 100 MHz to 6 GHz. This example design is 10 cm high with a footprint diameter of 20 cm.

The new IP will be of interest to antenna manufacturers, radio equipment OEMs, designers supporting wireless chipsets with reference designs, and design consultants in the RF marketplace.

Ploughshare Innovations

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