Iridium antenna is small enough for headsets and trackers

Claimed to be the world’s smallest antenna tuned for Iridium satellite services, the HXDC1600 has been released by Helix Geospace. The antenna tuned for Iridium satellite services can operate safely near the human head with minimal performance degradation, said the company. It is designed for use in mobile handsets, wearable trackers and personal safety devices.

The antenna measures 37mm long and 13.5mm in diameter and meets the Iridium satellite data network’s voice and short-burst data (SBD) requirements. It is based on Helix’s proprietary DielectriX technology, which uses a rugged high dielectric constant material at its core with multiple helical filaments on the surface to make a self-filtering resonant antenna that is immune to adjacent-band interference, electrical and common mode noise, said Helix Geospace. DielectriX antennas can discriminate true satellite signals from multi-path signals, mitigate against interference and jamming. This latest Iridium antenna will enable satellite phones to be built at close to the size and form factor of a normal smart mobile phone, said the company.

In addition to handset and wearable applications, the compact size makes it suitable for mounting on vehicles, marine craft and aircraft as well as for critical infrastructure applications where it is integrated into computer systems. Providing satellite voice and data communications is not just an essential safety measure for maintaining communications in remote areas or places where cellular communications is unviable, said Helix, but opens up new capabilities for the application of IoT. 

CEO, James Lewis, commented: “[The] IoT is driving increased demand for short burst data over the Iridium satellite network, with applications including logistics and asset tracking, and monitoring of critical infrastructure and transportation links. There is also a healthy defence and security market”.

Samples of the antennas are available now, with packaging options including IP67 overmould-protected variants for externally mounted applications. Variants designed to be housed within a customer-designed enclosure are also available.

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