Elite’s Antenna Testing Services

By Stacey Klouda, Elite’s Marketing Specialist

I recently interviewed Steve Laya, Elite’s Sales and Marketing Manager, to discuss the new Antenna Testing & Consulting services offered by Elite. 

So Steve, why antenna testing at Elite?

We’re strategically focused on wireless technology and testing.  Many Elite clients are designing RF transmitters or integrating radio transceivers into their products. They rely on us for regulatory compliance services but have also asked for our help to optimize their devices and specifically with respect to their antenna performance.   

Isn’t an antenna just a simple structure and why does it need to be tested?

For sure in some cases an antenna is just a simple element, but electromagnetically even a basic dipole needs to be optimized for range, efficiency, and bandwidth. If you can design a well-matched and properly-tuned antenna then you’ll achieve the required data throughput for your application and do so without drawing excessive power or creating other RF consequences.  

Some clients design their antenna as a metal trace on their transmitter printed circuit board (PCB) while others use purchased products which are either soldered to the PCB or are attached to the RF output port. 

For either designed-in or purchased antennas, once the element is installed the performance of that antenna and transmitter will be affected by the host board circuitry and nearby structures. The testing we’re offering will help engineers visualize these electromagnetic interactions and optimize the host board layout, antenna, and housing structure. 

Our antenna patterns will even illustrate the RF propagation for a wireless transmitter on a specific mounting surface. Plus we can measure the interaction between the antenna, digital host electronics, and the receiver to measure its sensitivity, which is particularly important for cellular modules. 

What services can you provide?

We’ve developed relationships with nearby experts who will perform the testing and provide these services.  Our partners are Mobile Mark, NEBENS, and Wistron.

For antenna pattern mapping we rely on the fully-anechoic RF chamber at Mobile Mark in Itasca, Illinois. They’re 20 minutes from Elite and can provide 2D and 3D antenna patterns along with efficiency, gain, and others measurements.

NEBENS, Inc is our independent electromagnetics consulting partner. They have world-class expertise in RF systems design, antenna design, modeling and simulation. Their exciting new MIMObit  software analyzes multi-antenna Tx/Rx systems in a variety of propagation environments. If you’re considering MIMO for your application you need to contact Nick Burris, right now.

Wistron is our partner offering local access to PTCRB pre-testing to confirm Total Radiated Power (TRP) and Total Isotropic Sensitivity (TIS) performance prior to final operator compliance testing. 

Why did you select these partners?

First of all, these folks are the experts. They have an amazing track record of providing expertise in areas that we believe will help our wireless clients be more successful. We really believe in their engineers and trust them working with our customers. Second, they’re all within 30 minutes of Elite which means services will be convenient and cost effective.

How do I access these services?

Just contact Elite and we can get you started. As with all our partner services Elite can provide a one-stop turn-key offering. Elite staff can facilitate the initial discussion, define the scope of the project, generate a proposal for services, and kickoff start dates. Many of our clients already have Elite as an approved vendor in their supply chain database which makes it just more convenient to source these partner services through us. So certainly Elite can provide access to these services through subcontracting.

But we also promote our partners independently on our website, and if preferred, we will have our clients engage directly with our partners. For each project we let the client decide which approach works best for them, and that’s how the services proceed.

For more information on these antenna services, contact Steve Laya at 630-495-9770 or by email at sglaya@elitetest.com .