Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Antenova unveils antenna and kit at CES

Steve Rogerson
January 8, 2019

At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Antenova showed its latest SMD positioning antenna and a development kit for certified cat-four LTE designs.
UK-based Antenova developed the SMD positioning antenna that is says achieves an extraordinary level of accuracy in the GNSS bands; it can pinpoint a location to within centimetres.
The Raptor antenna uses the L2, 1200MHz satellite bands which recently became available for civilian use. It is the latest addition to its Lamiiant range of rigid FR4 antennas, which are designed for easy insertion onto a PCB.
The antenna itself is small; it is a GPS single feed antenna in SMD form, measuring 16.0 by 8.0 by 1.6mm, which makes it suitable for small PCBs within all kinds of electronic devices.
“This is an outstanding antenna, because it achieves the same precision as a much larger, heavier ceramic patch antenna, but in a very compact SMD part,” said Colin Newman, CEO of Antenova, “A ceramic antenna would need to be 35 by 35mm to achieve a similar level of accuracy and performance.”
Raptor is supplied on tape and reel for high volume manufacturing applications.
The addition of the L2 frequency band combines multi-band satellite signal reception and GNSS correction data. This helps mitigate position errors, improving accuracy, especially in urban areas. As well as improving tracking, the L2 band is beneficial for UAVs, drones, autonomous vehicles, agriculture, grid mapping and other similar emerging applications.
As to the development kit, LTE category four is the next step in 4G LTE device capability. A cat-four device uses two antennas – a main antenna for transmit and receive, and a second antenna for receive only. The two antennas radiate in different pattern directions, which means they will always provide a good signal in any orientation, as the unit is moved around or turned.
The kit gives designers a short cut to a cat-four design and certifications, which can otherwise be difficult to achieve. Its part number is SR4L059-DVK-1 and it uses two of Antenova’s Inversa LTE antennas, which cover the cellular frequencies 698-798, 824-960,1710-2170, 2300-2400 and 2500-2690MHz. Antenova will supply the complete kit with artwork, circuit and reference design. This can be used as a development kit or it can be plugged into a computer to test another design.
Full testing is required to pass certifications, so the kit is battery powered, which allows the device to be tested in an anechoic chamber.
“RF is a very different discipline to electronic design and tends to be less well understood, and at Antenova we are working hard to create antennas and solutions that will help our customers to integrate antennas more easily,” said Chris Tomlin, antenna applications director at Antenova. “This kit will give our customers peace of mind, knowing that the antenna and its circuit are already working on the PCB, so their cat-four LTE design will be able to pass certification.”