Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Revolutionary antenna technology reduces size dramatically

03.06.2004


Rob Vincent, an employee in the University of Rhode Island’s Physics Department, proves the adage that necessity is the mother of invention.



An amateur radio operator since he was 14, Vincent has always lived in houses situated on small lots. Because he couldn’t erect a large antenna on a confined property, he has been continually challenged over the years to find a way to get better reception.

"I was always tinkering in the basement. Thank goodness, my parents were tolerant. I can still remember my poor father driving up our driveway after a hard day’s work to see wires wrapped around the house," Vincent recalls. "The Holy Grail of antenna technology is to create a small antenna with high efficiency and wide bandwidth," explains Vincent. "According to current theory, you have to give up one of the three--size, efficiency, or bandwidth--to achieve any one of the other two."


After decades of experimentation, combined with a 30-year engineering career and Yankee ingenuity, Vincent has invented a revolutionary antenna technology. The distributed loaded monopole antennas are smaller, produce high efficiency, and retain good to excellent bandwidth. And they have multiple applications.

With this technology it will be possible to double, at minimum, the range of walkie-talkies used by police, fire, and other municipal personnel. Naval ships, baby monitors, and portable antennas for military use are other applications. An antenna could be mounted on a chip in a cell phone and be applied to wireless local area networks. Another application deals with radio frequency identification, which is expected someday to replace the barcode system.

"It could even make the Dick Tracy wrist radio with all the features, such as Internet access, a possibility," Vincent says.

The inventor pursued his quest to build a better antenna in earnest eight years ago when he and his significant other moved into a house situated on a 50-foot by 100-foot lot in Warwick. There was nothing on the commercial market that could fit the lot that would provide the performance Vincent needed to be heard in distant lands and that would be acceptable to his neighbors. All the small antennas being sold were inefficient and lacked bandwidth, which resulted in low performance and high frustration.

Vincent looked at the techniques that were currently used to reduce antenna size and realized something was missing in the way everyone was approaching the problem.

He began to model various combinations into a computer program called MathCad. His first attempt produced a 21 MHz band antenna that was 18 inches high. Normally, antennas for this band are 12 to 24 feet high. Vincent installed the antenna in his back yard. The legal limit that amateurs can operate is 1,000 watts with the norm being 100 watts. The amateur radio operator experimented with 5 to 10 watts. He reached a station in Chile and made contacts in various European countries. Meanwhile he kept adding power until it reached 100 watts. That’s when things suddenly went bad. Walking outside in the backyard, he understood why. The antenna had melted.

After examining the molten matter, Vincent wasn’t discouraged. This was only a small model and not designed to handle much power. The part of the antenna that failed proved to be the key to the design. After analyzing the failure, Vincent realized that he was able to transform a lot of current along the antenna with even relatively low power.

"Antennas radiate by setting up large amounts of current flow through various parts of their structure," he says. "The larger the current the more radiation and the better the output of the antenna."

Vincent went back to the drawing board and continued to improve the technology. Relying on his nearly 30 years at Raytheon Co. and at KVH Industries in Middletown R.I which provided him with a diversified background in electronics and electronic systems, Vincent overcame a myriad of problems and succeeded.

He established three test sites for various prototypes. Antennas were placed in Westport, Mass. in a salt marsh, the best ground for transmission and reception. Another set of antennas were placed on rocky ground in Cumberland, R.I., the worst kind of site, and at a Warwick site which is in between the two. The antennas, which resemble flagpoles, worked well at all locations.

Tests confirmed that Vincent has created antennas at one third to one ninth of their full size counterparts. Normally smaller antennas are only 8 to 15 percent efficient. Vincent’s antennas achieved 80 to 100 percent efficiency as compared to the larger antennas.

A patent is pending on Vincent’s technology. The inventor has made the University of Rhode Island and its Physics Department partners that will benefit from any revenue his invention earns. "The University and its Physics Department has been very supportive and given me time and space to work on this project," says Vincent who was recently presented the 2004 Outstanding Intellectual Property Award by URI’s Research Office. "I couldn’t have done this without the University’s support. It’s only fair that it share in the profits."

Jan Wenzel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uri.edu/

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>