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Spray it On

March 15, 2012

I just read an article about a spray-on antenna developed by a company called Cham Tech. I experienced a huge pang of envy. I did my masters by research on antennas. It was in the day when mobile phones were found in cars. The phones  were big and bulky. Anyway my research was about designing microstrip antennas that could be placed on the top of the car for the mobile phone and the car radio. I suppose I really was not that great at designing antennas from a mathematical perspective. But I got very good at designing intuitively and kind of knew how to create the shape (main radiator and parasitic elements) that would generate the antenna beam pattern I wanted. Then I found some nice metallic paint and I began to paint the antenna shapes. I came up with a very simple solution with a microstrip at the centre for the mobile phone surrounded by a loop for the car radio. I often wondered if I could paint the antenna on to a sun roof but I never got my hands on someones car to do that. And the electronic properties of the sun roof would probably not have been suitable (i.e. dielectric properties not allowed for smaller antenna sizes). In any case I could highly recommend antenna painting. In CTVR we are much more focused on technology transfer opportunities now – something I would never have thought about then ……….

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