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New high sensitivity GPS SmartAntenna 09.11.2003

This module provides a complete solution for OEMs who need to build GPS into their end-products, without investing time and effort into designing their own.

Sarantel has launched SmartAntenna F02, its latest integrated antenna-receiver for global positioning applications. This groundbreaking module provides a complete solution for OEMs who need to build GPS into their end-products, without investing time and effort into designing their own. Additionally the ability of the GeoHelix antenna to operate predictably close to human tissue, makes this new device ideal for personal positioning applications.

SmartAntenna F02 combines Sarantel's omni-directional GPS antenna with Fastrax's popular ultra low-power Trax02/4 GPS receiver chipset. The antenna's innovative GeoHelix design offers exceptionally high levels of immunity to RF interference thereby simplifying the integration process. It is particularly small at 32mm x 32mm and 10.8mm deep, weighs under 30g, and consumes just 100mW at 2.7V in continuous operation, making it ideal for portable applications and for vehicle, personal, and mobile asset tracking where battery power is used.

Fast acquisition times are a feature of the 12 channel iTrax02/4 receiver, which has a 32MIPS DSP core and dedicated GPS search engine. This combined with the broad antenna beam width of the PowerHelix antenna enables the F02 can see more satellites more rapidly and it can therefore provide more accurate GPS fixes under a wider variety of situations. The position fix is normally accurate to within 10 metres, worldwide.

"There is a growing demand for effective positioning from integrators who understand the benefits of GPS but not its implementation," said Barrie Foley, CEO of Sarantel. "Matching our antenna with one of the best low-power GPS receivers in this way ensures developers get excellent results with minimal development time."

The mounting arrangements are flexible; serial data interface (RS232) and 3.3V and ground are the only connections needed, all made via one standard 14 way header. The SmartAntenna F02 does not require a ground plane and therefore suits applications where size, weight and accuracy are key requirements.

Operating on the GPS L1-band (1575.42MHz), SmartAntenna F02 uses Sarantel's patented GeoHelix design in which copper tracks, deposited on to a small ceramic cylinder, are individually and automatically laser-trimmed for optimum frequency response. The antenna-receivers are fully shielded and can be mounted side-by-side in combined applications such as Bluetooth and GSM without loss of performance. A development kit is available which allows the more advanced user to make use of the pre-emptive real time operating system, and 16-bit DSP core, for other tasks.

Sample and production quantities of SmartAntenna F02 are available now.


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