RF & Microwave Antennas for Drones & GCS | Surveillance & Communication Antennas

VideoSys Expands Antenna Manufacturing Capabilities

The company has created the VB Antennas brand following its expansion into new areas such as robotics, security and defence By Mike Ball / 03 Jul 2024
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VideoSys Broadcast has upgraded its office and manufacturing capacity in response to not only growing interest from traditional broadcast customers but also increased demand from the robotics, security and defence industries.

VideoSys Expands Antenna Manufacturing Capabilities

The company is also recruiting more design and production staff and has created a separate brand identity for its antenna business, under the name of VB Antennas. This brand creation comes two and a half years after the acquisition of Masthead Antennas.

Since acquiring Masthead, we have streamlined our design and manufacturing processes, ensuring continuity of product. Parts are standardised and built with components that come from commercial suppliers,” says Colin Tomlin, CEO of VideoSys Broadcast. “This is something we have always done, but is also a requirement for our ISO 9001 accreditation application, a globally recognised standard that helps companies audit their performance and demonstrate a commitment to quality.”

The growth of VideoSys Broadcast’s antenna business has been fuelled by its expansion into new areas, including security and defence where there is demand for robust, durable and flexible antennas that can be used in challenging terrain as well as harsh RF environments.

Our antennas cover the L, S and C bands used in ground-based security and surveillance applications, as well as the NATO D-H frequency bands that enable battlefield and MANET connectivity, both on-the-move and at-the-halt,” Tomlin says.

We also provide COTS and custom-designed antennas for use with unmanned vehicles such as drones, boats and ground transportation, with a wide range of connector options. While our genesis and pedigree lie in the design and supply of broadcast quality antennas for outside broadcast and live sports events – a market that still accounts for the majority of our business – the technology used in broadcast antenna can equally be applied to these new markets. It’s just that the use case is different.”

Tomlin noted that new customers in the defence and security sectors have been quick to recognise that VideoSys Broadcast not only has extensive expertise and knowledge of antennas, but is also an expert in video, radio and camera systems, placing VideoSys Broadcast in the unique position of being able to advise and build bespoke systems across a wide range of use cases.

A good example of this is our new gooseneck omni antenna, which is ideal for body worn applications where having a fully bendable neck allows users to position the antenna in a particular direction to enhance battlefield communications,” he says. “We have expanded this principle across all our omni and sector antennas.”

Since entering these new markets, VideoSys quickly recognised the need to increase its manufacturing capabilities so that it can react fast to customer demand.

Many of these new markets require suppliers to deliver up to 1,000 units at a time, so we must be nimble and ready to meet that demand without impacting on the supply of antenna products to our existing customers,” Tomlin says.

“By increasing our manufacturing capacity, we are able to keep lead times down to four to six weeks for all customers, which is significantly better than some of our competitors with lead times as long as 14 weeks. What’s more, all of our products are made in the UK. This is especially important in some sectors where provenance and reliability are key and where suppliers – and their suppliers – are carefully vetted before contracts are awarded.”

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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