E-tenna has launched its new AccuWave product line. AccuWave is designed to improve the performance and reduce the size and cost of global positioning system (GPS) antennas for high-precision applications.
GPS is a U.S. government-owned satellite-based system that is widely used in commercial applications including surveying, asset tracking, navigation, and personal position location.
AccuWave employs e-tenna's Artificial Magnetic Conductor (AMC) technology, which isolates antennas from nearby influences that could degrade performance.
In the case of GPS, signals transmitted by the GPS satellites often arrive at the user via various paths; directly from the satellite, but also via bounces off the ground or from obstructions such as nearby buildings.
This results in a phenomenon called multipath, that reduces the GPS's ability to accurately determine location - simply because it cannot tell which signal arrived directly from the satellite.
AccuWave-enhanced GPS antennas use AMC technology to filter out and greatly reduce these bounced signals. AMC attenuates multipath, thus creating a near-perfect antenna groundplane and significantly improves the accuracy of GPS systems, which is critically important for high precision applications like surveying.
In addition, AMC technology is realized using thin and low-cost printed circuit boards, rather than today's standard method of placing the antennas on a machined aluminum groundplane. This results in antennas that are lighter, smaller, and more flexible than today's antennas, thus enabling engineers to incorporate GPS functionality into a wider range of products.
"Today's GPS antennas have to overcome the challenge of multipath which gives GPS antennas the equivalent of double (or worse) vision. When GPS receivers can't tell which RF signal is directly from the satellite, they must estimate location based on all signals they receive," says Andy Humen, one of e-tenna's founding engineers and director of marketing.
"AccuWave provides the right filter, or 'glasses,' to help GPS antennas see only the signal coming directly from the satellite and thus enables the most accurate position determination. AccuWave also allows us to build these glasses using the smallest, lightest, and most cost-effective material possible."
"e-tenna's innovative AccuWave technology may be able to expand the marketplace for precision-GPS systems, given the potential size and cost improvements," says David M. McCartney, president of e-tenna Corporation. "This is just one example of the exciting, industry-changing wireless technology products that e-tenna will unveil in the coming months."
e-tenna is currently working with leading GPS suppliers to evaluate AccuWave technology for integration into current and future products.
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