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Sarantel Announces Miniature GPS Antennas for Portable Devices

Ever wonder what the GPS antenna inside your portable car navigation device looks like? A news release from Sarantel shows pictures of a very small helical antenna.

Sarantel has announced a new antenna, the LBS Pro", which is billed as "a miniature, energy saving and high-performance GPS antenna aimed at mobile handset manufacturers whose commercial strategies depend on successful consumer adoption of location based services (LBS)."

Sarantel said the LBS Pro has the accuracy and performance to allow it to be used for hand-free pedestrian navigation.

Some of its features may also be useful for mobile TV reception, if that technology scales to UHF frequencies. Sarantel said the LBS Pro and its "PowerHelix" and GeoHelix" filtering technology significantly outperforms traditional technologies, claiming it does not lose energy or de-tune when held close to the body. This allows consumers to leave their GPS-enabled phone in their pocket while listening to turn-by-turn directions.

More technical details include a beamwidth in excess of 130 degrees and an integrated balun that isolates the antenna from the device ground plane. The device is designed to be embedded in the cell phone.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.