The design of Embedded Antennas is an area where MEI excels, where over 30 years of know-how and experience developing original embedded antenna structures make a significant difference. This difference translates into a creative solution for your product, as opposed to an ordinary, run of the mill one. MEI can create, supply and support a suitable antenna to meet client requirements in almost any housing, regardless of whether the antenna is permitted to protrude outside the housing or not.
Internal or Embedded antennas are designed, developed, prototyped, verified and manufactured in-house within the spectrum of 50 kHz to 40 GHz. A very broad range of radiating structures are created, including patch, inverted F, slot, notch, horn, dipole, monopole, loop, conformal/printed, wrap-around/band-aid, spiral, conical, miniature, naturally & forced resonant, loaded or unloaded, etc., together with their hybrid combinations. Spatially and polarization diverse radiating systems are equally supported.
MEI regularly develops antennas to match OEM product geometries and desired electromagnetic performance (polarization, gain, pattern, efficiency, etc.) If you have such a challenge, you are invited to give Dr. Myers a call at (add phone number). You will most likely be impressed with how quickly a conceptual solution will come to life, before you hang up the telephone.
Typically, a normal contract for Embedded Antennas with MEI has the following stages: (1) NRE Services (design, development and validation), (2) Prototypes (the first 5 to 25 units), (3) Initial Production (first 100 to 1,000 pieces, depending on tooling requirements) and (4) Volume Production (1,000 and above.) MEI will normally provide a quotation for most of these stages prior to the NRE effort. Oftentimes, client firms also request MEI’s consulting services for the improvement of the RF front end, for the control of noise emissions, and/or to solve system self-jamming (common when internal antennas and microcontrollers co-exist in close proximity.)
NRE Services costs are very intimately related to the desired technical objectives and package and mission constraints. Development times vary accordingly, but generally, most antennas go into Initial Production within 2 to 6 months after the signing of a contract. The Prototypes and Initial Production stages permit MEI clients to make a rapid movement into their market. Initial low rate Production often has a life of 15 to 60 days (30 days on average), after which normal, full scale manufacturing begins.
At the top of this page, a short antenna having fairly wide bandwidth is depicted. The plastic product housing (and the antenna) restricted the space available to 1/2 the natural resonant size. The antenna shown covered the entire 2.4 GHz ISM band, where it was used to exchange Spread Spectrum signals, with a peak gain of +3 dBi (including diffraction due to the device’s chassis), and an installed peak to peak ripple under 6 dB (mostly due to the large, rectangular shape of the product’s chassis.)
At left, an entire transceiver system is shown, including the antenna and RF transmission network. This subassembly was installed inside an ergonomic portable computing device. The antenna was internal to the product and produced a peak -3 dBi gain in its “pager” (vertical) orientation and -5 dBi in its “normal use” orientation (horizontal, as in the photo, but upside down.) Pattern stability and polarization diversity achieved by this design enabled operation indoors with some multipath control. The RF transmission system was designed to automatically accommodate an external whip antenna, if one is present. The transceiver was narrowband, 900 MHz and amplitude modulated. The product performed over a range of 100 meters.
Left is an embedded antenna, designed to operate inside a very densely packed, compact wireless product. The requirement for this antenna was an afterthought and there literally was no space for one. MEI met the challenge with a paper thin solution, yielding the desired polarization, gain and azimuthal ripple. This antenna had to be laminated with Kapton tape to protect other nearby components from short circuits. Operating band was 900 MHz. This design is still in production at MEI.