Intellectual property patent status

Communications and electronic warfare capabilities typically require multiple antennas that are spatially distanced. However, modern demands need high performance services across a broad frequency range in applications where space is limited and/or there are weight constraints. This solution provides simultaneous coverage across multiple frequency bands in a single structure – offering a low-cost compact solution, ideal for weight sensitive and/or spatially limited environments.

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The move in consumer frequency trends from 2G to 3G, 4G & 5G has led to the use of higher radio frequency bands, which in turn require bespoke tailored base stations to be designed.

In current solutions, a spatially arranged antenna array is deployed to provide 2G, 3G and 4G bands.

The solution

Low Profile Multi-band Array, developed by Dstl. This new technology enables the use of a single compact antenna array for simultaneous 2G, 3G & 4G radio frequency communications that is able to radiate directionally as well as omnidirectionally (multi-functional and multi-mode). In doing so, it provides a compact, lightweight, low-cost solution.

Whilst being compact, this technology maintains performance in power, sensitivity and gain and offers multi-functionality; with capabilities in directional finding, useful for electronic surveillance, as well as omnidirectional receive/transmit for communication applications and a precision directional-only mode.

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How it works

This technology provides a single base station, capable of delivering Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) functionality across 600MHz to 3GHz (3G, 4G, 5G telecommunications frequencies) and can be used in precision directional-only mode, making it ideal for electronic surveillance and CEMA operation as well.

In conventional base station applications, this functionality is delivered by deploying multiple antennas with multiple radiating elements that are designed with polarisation diversity. The mounting of these antennas is usually on a base station tower and each element is spatially separated pointing in different directions.

This technology delivers this functionality through the use of three dual polarised planar antennas (one dual polarised antenna providing 120 degree of sectored coverage), arranged in a smaller diametrical footprint capable of operating at a broad range of frequencies.

Key benefits

  • Compact antenna solution – multi-functionality in a single design
  • Multiple bands – low profile array capable of operating in 2G, 3G, 4G bands simultaneously, with potential capability for future 5G integration
  • Enabler for multi-function CEMA operation – introducing omnidirectional, receive-only (electronic surveillance) and precision directional-only modes
  • Small size – 36cm diameter array
  • Weight and cost saving – reduces the need to install up to four further antennas, when deployed into a CEMA role
  • Utilises MIMO – (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology for increased wireless capacity
  • User friendly – technology comes with prescribed manufacturing methodology
  • Increased usability – suitable for commercial indoor applications (minimised overall footprint and space claim)
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