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Helix Technologies to develop GNSS antennas for driverless cars

January 19, 2018  - By

Helix Technologies Ltd., a U.K.-based developer of high-performance, ceramic-based helix antennas, has secured funding that will enable continued development of antennas for a wide range of applications including autonomous vehicles, drones, internet of things and machine-to-machine communications.

Photo: HelixAntenia

Photo: HelixAntenia

The company closed its Phase B funding round with GBP 650,000 of financing provided by private investors.

The company said that the driverless car segment, both GNSS and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) applications, represents the most immediate and compelling need and business opportunity for its helix antenna technology.

Helix Technologies said its dielectric-loaded helix antennas will provide significant performance advantages over incumbent antenna technologies for next-generation GNSS and V2X applications.

The use of a dielectric ceramic core gives its antennas unique properties including unsurpassed gain/efficiency per unit of volume and more effective and predictable behaviour in a wide range of challenging user scenarios.

“We are grateful for the support of our investors which allows us to develop innovative solutions for this exciting growth market,” said John Yates, managing director of Helix Technologies. “The first self-driving cars are widely forecast to be on the market between 2019 and 2021. Any navigation and communications equipment used onboard will have to fulfil the highest-possible standards on safety, integrity and accuracy.”

The company expects to have prototypes of its V2X DSRC antenna available by the second quarter of  2018 and its NEXTGEN GNSS antenna by the third quarter of 2018.

According to the company, the use of the ceramic core enables the fabrication of antennas that are physically smaller than conventional antennas, behave much more effectively and predictably in a wide range of challenging user scenarios and have many compelling technical advantages which include:

  • Maintaining radiation efficiency near absorbing objects (such as the human body)
  • Improving the accuracy of GNSS systems in multipath environments (such as in cities)
  • Operation in sub-optimal orientations towards the sky
  • Are able to be placed into very tightly integrated systems
  • Operation in slim devices without a ground plane
  • Unsurpassed gain/efficiency per unit of volume
  • Simple and robust design and construction for durability and reliability
  • Excellent beamwidth (omni-directionality)
  • Multi-frequency, tailored frequency response

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.