ADCOR MAGnet Systems Announces New Smart Antenna for Drones

By Mike Ball / 07 Jul 2016

Pharos AntennaADCOR MAGnet Systems, LLC, a developer of sensor fusion technologies, has announced the development of its new drone technology, the Pharos smart antenna.

The Pharos is a smart antenna for drones and robotic platforms that forms a directional, high gain beam and keeps it always pointed to the drone control station, regardless of the drone’s motion. It can be used on both sides of the link, the ground control station, and the drone. It is an electronically-controlled tracking antenna with no moving parts.

Unlike conventional omni-directional antennas that waste energy in all directions, the Pharos concentrates the available power where it is most needed. Working in conjunction with the Pixhawk autopilot (a version with its own autopilot is also being developed), the antenna activates the side facing the UAV, boosting reception and range. A second Pharos can also be used on the aircraft, keeping ground control in aim at all times. The Pharos is also circular-polarized, granting immunity to polarization losses and multi-pathing signals.

Possible uses of the Pharos antenna are:

  • With a 5.8GHz video transmitter on a Pixhawk-equipped drone (aerial side for improving video transmission)
  • With a 5.8GHz video receiver on the Ground by interfacing it to a Pixhawk controller (Ground side for improving video reception)
  • In conjunction with a Microhard 5.8GHz modem on both the drone and the Ground Control Station (GCS) for improving both telemetry and video streaming

The Pharos antenna can be used with any type of drone – aerial, land-based (rovers) or maritime (boats) – to extend the range of the system.

ADCOR MAGnet Systems’ Kickstarter campaign for the Pharos can be found here.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact