Ultra Wideband Antenna Design
Optimize installed performance, launch your product, and control your IP.
- Optimize installed performance – Preserve bandwidth and radiation pattern efficiency during operation.
- Customize for your application – integrated antenna & PCB design
- Increase throughput with less power consumption – Get better data rate, battery life, and range – without increasing asset/tag density.
- Launch to production – Overcome reference or OTS design problems.
- Eliminate IP headaches – flexible licensing and tech transfer
Using UWB for Ranging, Radar, or RTLS?
Production Ultra-wideband (UWB) chips and chip antennas are now available to leverage standards like 802.15.4a for
- precise, accurate radar
- real-time location systems (RTLS)
- high-bandwidth, low power, short-range communications
- indoor localization
- precision ranging
UWB promises to enable revolutionary new applications. UWB-ready reference designs from chipset manufacturers can quickly provide ranging, RTLS, radar, and communication functionality to test new concepts in controlled bench and lab environments. To name just a few:
- The Novelda “XeThru” single-chip CMOS impulse radar transceiver
- Decawave’s DWM transceiver modules are spec’ed for 10cm RTLS.
- Alereon offers a complete WiMedia-compliant UWB “system in a box” chipset
These manufacturers’ chips, commercial off the shelf (COTS) boards, and reference designs, combined with COTS chip antennas, will often get you up and running quickly on the bench.
But performance in the installed environment can be another story.
Resolve UWB installed performance challenges.
A proof of concept UWB antenna design that works on the bench can often become a non-starter in the real world.
For example, COTS UWB planar antennas that come standard on the Decawave reference board are actually dielectric-loaded monopoles tuned for typical UWB frequency ranges (3.1GHz-10GHz). The advertised freespace performance breaks down dramatically when the reference board with antenna is placed on or near anything, such as tagged assets or personnel. If you’re suffering from unexplained range or throughput limitations, you’re not alone.
If you try to overcome performance issues with brute force solutions like higher tag density, signal processing, or filtering, your UWB RTLS or radar solution may become impractical or unmarketable.
Typically, UWB installed performance issues are caused by interactions between the antenna, the PCB system, and the installation platform. The installation platform may be a person (e.g. personnel tracking); it may be an asset such as a pallet or a surgical cart. Or it may just be a wall or a beam on a warehouse floor.
Solving the root causes of installed performance issues often requires either system modifications, a custom antenna, or both. That means you either need to have an experienced UWB antenna designer on staff, or waste time with trial and error.
Or worse yet, you’ll struggle to find an outside antenna designer or supplier who can quickly adapt their COTS antenna design to your application – or is not familiar with how to help a product developer like you establish ownership of your own IP.
UWB Applications Released To Production
BluFlux can review your application and design, identify potential problem areas, suggest optimized UWB antenna solutions, and rapidly build prototypes.
BluFlux can also provide test results in a representative operating environment – to confirm as early as possible in your design process that you are on the path to production.
Examples of results BluFlux has delivered to customers include:
- planar, module-style omnidirectional and hemispherical UWB antennas
- transition from reference designs & COTS antennas to production-ready implementations
- reduced cost
- reduced power requirements
- reduced processing requirements
- PCB and antenna redesign
- preserving/recovering onmi-directional and hemispherical/uni-directional antenna gain patterns in installed environments
- optimized asset count/tag density (anchors, beacons, and tags)
- preserve performance in environments with close proximity to metals, the human body, and other materials with problematic conductive and dielectric properties
UWB Performance Without IP Hassles
UWB applications often require custom antenna and PCB designs to optimize installed performance. Navigating the IP issues on top of the technical design can be frustrating.
That’s why we never require restrictive IP licensing agreements.
We’ve been in your shoes. We know first-hand that when you launch cutting-edge technology, the last thing you want is IP hassles.
We are here to solve your design problem and help you launch your product.
Get started with a free consultation.
Your Bluflux UWB antenna design process starts with a free consultation.
We’ll review your designs and suggest a plan of attack to achieve your technical and business objectives.
For answers to your UWB challenge of any type (RTLS, Radar, Ranging, Communications, etc.), click below.