GPS Antennas Up

U.S. Military GPS
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After years of research, development, trials, and launches, the Wellingborough, United Kingdom-based company Sarantel is ready to make its mark in the world of GPS technology. Sarantel specializes in miniature antennas for GPS devices, and it recently signed a multi-year contract with an American company that makes military radios. After pouring almost $80 million into its GPS antennas, Sarantel hopes this is just the beginning.

GPS technology and all the devices that use it, including smartphones and navigation tools, are dependent on antennas to receive a signal. Sarantel’s antennas are unique because they are ceramic based and small. Such a combination eliminates almost 90 percent of the absorption of the signal by the body, making it much more precise and reliable. In fact, the location data accuracy is within 1 meter. Such precision is extremely attractive to military personnel.

Military Use
The most popular Sarantel antenna among manufacturers of military equipment is the GeoHelix antenna, a rugged GPS-based device that can be used even on the battlefield. Itronix plans to use the antenna in its GD300 model, which a soldier can wear on the wrist or chest. General Dynamics and Thales are using it on their Rifleman military radios, and another European company is running a trial of the GPS antenna to be used in body armor for soldiers in the field.

Nonmilitary Use
Though quite useful for military purposes, these antennas are also developed for commercial use. A company in Japan is testing the use of GPS antennas in cameras in order to pinpoint the exact geographical location of a photograph. AutoSeis, a global geophysical company, seeks to use the GPS antenna in devices used for geological surveys, such as those used by mining and resource companies. NAL Research Corp, a United States company, plans to use Sarantel’s Iridium antenna in two-way messaging and personal tracking equipment. Even beyond these more scientific uses, the ceramic-based antennas can be used by golfers for distance measurement cameras and smartphone users for the purpose of consumer marketing.

Around the world, Sarantel is making a name for itself with its GPS antennas. The ability to receive the majority of a signal and provide precise location data set it apart from the rest. And the versatility of its uses, both military and commercial, will help Sarantel rise to the top.

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Hillary Mayfield

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