What makes IoT devices different from antenna design perspective?

In IoT connected devices, antenna design is more important than ever. IoT devices can be found in any kind of locations. Quite often devices are in remote places, far away from communication infrastructure and hard to access. This leads to 3 common characteristics:

1. Challenging communication environment

Devices needs to be able to communicate with infrastructure that is either far away or obstructed by concrete, walls, or ground. This means that connectivity is often the limiting factor on who can use the device and any improvement on the communication range can help you to serve more customers.

2. Maintenance free

Because the devices are in locations that are hard to reach cost of any maintenance activity would be very significant. Therefore, any battery powered device should aim for several years if not for decades of battery life. Among other things, reducing the amount of data transmission and power needed for the transmission help to prolong the maintenance period.

3. Durability

Many applications and locations where IoT devices are being used are such that the device needs to endure harsh environment from temperature, moisture, and mechanical stress. On the other hand, some locations are prone to explosions such as ATEX spaces found in places where gas, oil or other flammable compounds are handled. Solutions might be use of potting material, metallic structures or for example, size reduction. Solutions to these durability challenges are hazardous for wireless communication.

Common nominator for the three characteristics above is the pressure those place on wireless performance and antenna design. There are many technologies that have been developed to tackle the performance requirements and they fall under the category of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN). However, selecting a suitable technology is not enough. Even the best system and best product can fail if it has poor a antenna design.

Quality antenna design for IoT

Most of the LPWAN systems use a single frequency range to communicate over long distance. This allows antenna to be placed in smaller space because the reduction of bandwidth can be managed. However, any potting material or presence of metal will severely detune the antenna and cause many standard antennas to be impossible to match. High quality antenna design starts with identifying best antenna solution to given mechanical constraints and through iterative process of IoT product development influence overall product design to achieve the best achievable antenna performance with the lowest BOM cost.

LPWAN Systems
Frequency [MHz]
LoraWAN 433, 868, 915
Sigfox (Partner) RC1 868, RC2 903, RC3 922, RC4 920, RC5 922, RC6 865
Zigbee 2450
Thread 868, 915, 2450
NB-IoT 699-960, 1710-2170
LTE Cat m1 699-960, 1710-3600

Radientum Services for IoT antenna design

We offer antenna design services for full product development projects from feasibility studies through different design stages to consultancy at mass production phase.

Our antenna simulations are critical at reaching accurate performance forecast in early stages of development. This helps enable informed decisions before manufacturing of prototypes. Simulation enable us to use our extensive know-how in product integration to find new innovative antenna solutions.

We can measure TRP in anechoic chamber when your device has been configured to transmit carrier wave signal (CWS) at maximum power. This means that our power meter will test the transmitted power to each direction and results are integrated to generate the combined total power.
We specialize in high performance integrated solutions that are cost-driven. Check our references!

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02150 Espoo, Finland

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