How do you make a vehicle antenna invisible?
There are many use cases where visibility of an antenna can either be detrimental to the covert nature of a vehicle or can make the antenna a target for vandalism or tampering. However, the nature of most vehicles makes them a difficult environment to place the antenna inside the cab or body.
Metal chassis, close proximity to sub-structures and a lack of space all contribute to an extremely complex RF environment. Traditional vehicle antenna solutions usually require mounting externally on the roof, and trunk, placed on or inside the windows or mounted on top of the dash.
The problem with these solutions is that the antenna is clearly visible and/or accessible.
So what is the solution?
Introducing the Trigger covert under-dash telematics antenna series, from Laird External Antennas (now part of TE Connectivity).
Trigger antennas are a unique and truly covert antenna series consisting of four or five port antennas which offer coverage of 3G/4G/5G/ISM/CBRS, Wi-Fi, and GNSS in a single and innovative format.
⦁ Unique V-Pol / H-Pol cellular elements ensure highest signal retention and data throughput
⦁ Ideal for vehicle under-dash locations mounted to ventilation ducting
⦁ Dual axis bonding via adhesive tape provides a rugged mount to jarring vehicle movements.
⦁ FirstNet/Public Safety
⦁ Aftermarket Fleet Upgrades
⦁ Rugged LTE Gateways
What makes them different?
Trigger antennas are designed to be installed underneath vehicle dashboards or in space constrained environments. The illustration below shows how the antenna can be mounted over an air duct located underneath the dash of the vehicle.
Antenna installations underneath a vehicle dashboard, present complex RF environments and limited space for installation. The innovative L-shape of the Trigger antenna family means they can be covertly mounted alongside or over bulky non-metallic objects such as vent ducts. Mounting is quick and simple with the included adhesive pads.
What’s in it for me?
Installation inside the vehicle means these antennas can be mounted much closer to vehicle routers and gateways which are generally sited under dashboards, under seats, or in the vehicle’s trunk. Mounting closer to the gateway also allows for shorter cable runs and reductions in cable losses, resulting in increased RF performance.
Mounting inside the vehicle can also avoid complex antenna installations where the roof or boot of a vehicle might need to be drilled to install an external antenna. As well as the reduced time and cost from installation, this has significant benefits for operators of leased/hired vehicles.
Leased vehicles often have fines or penalties associated with damage resulting from antenna installations. Trigger antennas could replace multiple external permanently mounted antennas which would all incur a fine. The saving at the end of a lease period could be thousands of dollars in this case.
Trigger antennas include both vertical and horizontal cellular radiating elements within the same antenna. The inclusion of the orthogonally-oriented elements improves both signal received power and quality due to superior de-correlation of the MIMO pair of cellular ports. This can offer significant performance improvements over traditional flat dash-top antennas with some customers quoting as much as a 6 dBi improvement over alternative technologies.
Additionally, Trigger antenna cellular ports benefit from generally reduced gain pattern nulls/ripple and more omni-directional gain from the vertical dipole element. This configuration can provide as much as 20% improvement in antenna efficiency versus competing technologies.
The unique combination of elements optimizes across-horizon performance and around-the-vehicle coverage. This is key for both dense urban environments as well as remote locations where signals may be either impeded or weak.
To learn more about the Trigger family of antennas view the antenna options via the link below or speak to a member of the Arcadian team: