New Liquid Crystal Antenna Design Promises Better Reception
Date: Tuesday, February 14 @ 13:08:10 UTC
Satellite reception is a tricky business. Until now, satellite TV and internet reception dictated a large stationary antenna.
But Onur Hamza Karabey, a doctoral candidate at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, has developed a compact, inexpensive, steerable antenna that could mean stable satellite reception on moving platforms such as cars, ships, aircraft.
The prototype solution uses a 4x4 liquid crystal cell matrix to allow the antenna to be track a satellite. With no moving parts it can re-align on a satellite in milliseconds and at less than 5mm thick, it could easily be incorporated into a vehicle roof. Onur is already developing a larger 16x16 cell matrix which covers about 65cm².
Using LCD technology means the antenna can be manufactured using the same production processes as LCD televisions, vastly reducing cost.
Although use for GPS reception was not originally considered, the ability to rapidly focus on a number of individual, moving GPS satellites could lead to vast improvements in sensitivity and acquisition speeds and a reduction in errors such as urban canyons, multipath etc.
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