When it comes to drones, weight and battery life are inherently linked, the lighter the drone, the longer its batteries can power it. Taoglass, leader of the Internet of Things (IoT) antenna industry introduced a series of new antennas at the Mobile World Congress 2018 Wednesday, with the goal of providing both the automotive and drone industry with lightweight, polymer-based alternatives to the current ceramic standard. The "Terrablast" antennas are not only 30 percent lighter than the contemporary benchmark, but highly impact-resistant, making them perfect for vehicles that can fall out of the sky.
According to sUAS News, the Terrablast antennas use a polymer dielectric substance fortified by glass-reinforced epoxy laminate. Essentially, the material is composed of fiberglass and epoxy resin that makes it flame resistant. While the polymer makes the antennas 30-35 percent lighter, it’s also the reason for the increased impact-resistance. How impact resistant, you ask? Let's take a look at Taoglass' own demonstration of the new antenna as it's dropped from a 39-story building.
“Taoglass is leading the charge in material science advancement for the antenna industry, and our new Terrablast antennas are the latest innovation we’re introducing to the market,” said co-founder and co-CEO Ronan Quinlan. “A variety of industries and applications, especially the automotive and drone markets, will benefit from Terrablast’s high-performance capabilities in a lightweight, impact-resistant form factor.”
The 25 millimeter embedded 2.4 gigahertz patch antenna, as well as the 35 mm embedded GPS patch antenna, reportedly have a circular design produced to withstand continuous directional-changes. In other words, the design choices made in the production of these antennas had mobile use-cases in mind from the very beginning, for usage where the direction to a transmitter or receiver changes as frequently as a vehicle might. The former antenna weighs a mere 0.19 ounces (5.6 grams), an extraordinary decrease from the ceramic counterpart’s weight of 0.3 ounces (8.5 g). It’s important to note that every little decrease in weight can drastically equate to a significant increase in the battery life of a drone.
While this may come across as highly technical jargon to those of you largely interested in hobby drones and potential new UAV gear, keep in mind that advancements like these will find their way into your life, too. The next drone you buy might well contain a Taoglass Terrablast antenna responsible for providing it with such an impressive, increased performance. Step by step, we’re witnessing some pretty significant drone tech advancements, with tangible results ahead.