After many hours in the lab and in the field, the Carlson engineering team has made a significant breakthrough for TV white-space technology, with a new high-gain, omnidirectional base-station antenna. This innovative antenna design fully harnesses the potential of the UHF band, leveraging the nuances of the signal to provide consistent performance across the band.
The design is the result of data gathered from challenging terrain across the nation at Carlson’s TV white-space trial deployments, where Carlson engineers and customers have been working hard to find the most effective way to utilize this brand new technology.
“Antenna design is actually one of the most challenging pieces of the puzzle,” said Craig Domeny, Carlson’s Director of Engineering. “It’s as much art as it is science.”
Consistent performance across the band is a critical factor with frequency-agile radios, and Carlson’s new design provides omnidirectional performance with 6dBi gain across the UHF band from 470 MHz to 698 MHz. White space technology, which repurposes unused TV frequencies for broadband, is unique in that radios must interact with a spectrum database to locate available channels in an area. Therefore, it is essential that radios perform optimally in all areas of the band.
“Somebody using channel 20 will see the same throughput as someone using channel 30, with virtually no difference in quality of signal,” said Rick Gustafson, Carlson’s antenna and enclosure production planner.
“We tried several different concepts, and this one allowed us to get additional gain over a dipole without compromising bandwidth or coverage,” noted Jim Carlson, CEO and chief engineer.
“We’re pleased to be able to offer a strong, holistic solution to our customers,” said Kiely Cronin, sales engineer and white space specialist.
The new antenna is enclosed in strong weatherproof PVC, chosen because of its endurance in extreme weather conditions over time. A four-foot-by-six-inch cylinder, the antenna is compact in size thanks to the short waveform of UHF signal.
Carlson has a long history of pioneering RF solutions, and innovation continues to set the company apart as it pioneers its way into the brand new field of TV white space technology.