Velocity

2014

NovAtel's Annual Journal of GNSS Technology Solutions and Innovation

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antcom velocity 2014 For more Solutions visit http://www.novatel.com 46 In a global economy domInated by mass markets, manufacturing success some- times seems to have been reduced to simply a func- tion of volume. From one perspective, antenna design and production fits that model to a T: Billions of mobile phones or the ubiquitous microstrip patch antennas of handheld GPS receivers have brought the full weight of economies of scale to the design process. But the global economy is complex and diverse, with ever evolving innovations and applications that have special operational requirements and an accompanying need for customization. This is the space inhabited by Antcom Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of NovAtel®. Based in Torrance, California, Antcom man- ufactures a diverse line of antennas for GNSS and telecommunications user equipment, of- fering a few hundred commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) models. However, 27 percent of its cus- tomers require customized products, accord- ing to Sean Huynh, Antcom's Vice President of Engineering/R&D. For the latter group, volume is no longer the de- termining factor for Antcom's taking on a project. "We see customization as an investment in customers," Huynh says, adding that Antcom embraces design challenges that other com- panies would ignore due to their complexity or high cost. "We take risks and do things we've not done before." Customization requirements typically fall into three categories: •  ruggedization for harsh environments or very specific applications, such as deep sea, outer space, high-dynamic military platforms •  mechanical— special packaging, form factor, size, or weight Photos courtesy of Boeing. One Size DOeSn't Fit All Antcom Puts the Customer into Antenna Customization The fully autonomous unmanned underwater vehicle Echo Ranger, built by Boeing, is lowered into the cove of Two Harbors on Catalina Island, California, before its journey into the Pacifc Ocean.

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