Survey shows continuing problems with wireless antenna performance
90% of electronics design engineers believe that not enough attention is being paid to the effect of enclosures on antenna performance. Dean Palmer reports
90% of electronics design engineers believe that not enough attention is being paid to the effect of enclosures on antenna performance. This is the top line finding of a recent survey, undertaken by Flomerics, of UK-based electronics design engineering firms.
With antennas now forming an integral part of many new wireless products coming onto the market, the costs of ignoring this issue are potentially huge, says Flomerics. “The global IT industry will need to wake up to the fact that antennas need to be designed to suit the environment they are intended to operate in,” said Dr Rachid Aitmehdi, head of Flomerics’ electromagnetic division. “It’s a well-known fact that enclosures can potentially have a detrimental effect on antenna performance for example. This effect and others can easily be simulated these days and if done early in a product’s design, rather than solved with a ‘test and fix’ mentality at the end of the project, weeks can be cut from design cycles with huge cost benefits.”
Flomerics Micro-Stripes software enables design engineers to simulate and optimise the FR performance of antennas in-situ, so that effects of enclosures and operational scenarios can be modelled long before a product prototype is built and tested.
Kenneth Carrigan, electromagnetic engineer at Anteon, commented: “This has been a long outstanding problem that needs more attention in modelling and field work. Antenna factors are usually specified in a free field, not inside an enclosure. Coupling of lower frequencies [<100M] to enclosures can change the antenna characteristics and thus antenna factors.”
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