Avionics News January 2018 - 28

industry
NO MATTER HOW EXPENSIVE AND
SOPHISTICATED AN AIRCRAFT'S AVIONICS SUITE IS,
ITS PERFORMANCE OFTEN HINGES ON THE
MOST-OVERLOOKED PART OF THE COMMUNICATIONS CHAIN:
THE HUMBLE ANTENNA.

THE

ABC s

OF MODERN AIRCRAFT ANTENNAS
S T O R Y

B Y

D A L E

S M I T H

"Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear
them and be influenced by them for good or ill." Gautama Buddha

Y

es, I'm a bit of an oddity, as I'm intrigued
by antenna design. Back when I was a lad,
my father was the lead design engineer
for a company that was one of the first to make fiberglass
antennas for aviation and marine applications.
He would bring home samples and drawings with all
the airflow patterns plotted out for me to see. It was
amazing, but I'm easily impressed. To the rest of the
aviation world, antennas are one of the most important,
yet equally overlooked and misunderstood part of an
aircraft's avionics system.
How misunderstood, you ask? Well, the simplest
problem with any of the 20-plus antennas on a modern
business jet can wreak havoc on the most sophisticated
28

avionics news

*

january

2018

avionics suite. But more on that later.
Look at the average airframe antenna and its design
hasn't changed much from the ones my dad designed. But
inside, things are a lot different.
"Antennas need to be about 3 feet apart from one
another to work properly," explained Don Jeckell, business
development manager for Cobham Antenna Systems.
"When everyone was trying to install GPS in their Cessnas,
there wasn't enough room on the airframe for individual
antennas. The 12th and 13th harmonic of the VHF signal
is coincident with the GPS receive signal. Every time you
keyed the mic to transmit, you would squash the GPS
receiver signal. We developed a filter called the Harmonic
Suppression Filter, and it allowed us to put the GPS and



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News January 2018

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Avionics News January 2018 - Intro
Avionics News January 2018 - No label
Avionics News January 2018 - Cover2
Avionics News January 2018 - 1
Avionics News January 2018 - 2
Avionics News January 2018 - 3
Avionics News January 2018 - 4
Avionics News January 2018 - 5
Avionics News January 2018 - 6
Avionics News January 2018 - 7
Avionics News January 2018 - 8
Avionics News January 2018 - 9
Avionics News January 2018 - 10
Avionics News January 2018 - 11
Avionics News January 2018 - 12
Avionics News January 2018 - 13
Avionics News January 2018 - 14
Avionics News January 2018 - 15
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Avionics News January 2018 - 17
Avionics News January 2018 - 18
Avionics News January 2018 - 19
Avionics News January 2018 - 20
Avionics News January 2018 - 21
Avionics News January 2018 - 22
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Avionics News January 2018 - 24
Avionics News January 2018 - 25
Avionics News January 2018 - 26
Avionics News January 2018 - 27
Avionics News January 2018 - 28
Avionics News January 2018 - 29
Avionics News January 2018 - 30
Avionics News January 2018 - 31
Avionics News January 2018 - 32
Avionics News January 2018 - 33
Avionics News January 2018 - 34
Avionics News January 2018 - 35
Avionics News January 2018 - 36
Avionics News January 2018 - 37
Avionics News January 2018 - 38
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Avionics News January 2018 - 40
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Avionics News January 2018 - 48
Avionics News January 2018 - 49
Avionics News January 2018 - 50
Avionics News January 2018 - 51
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Avionics News January 2018 - 53
Avionics News January 2018 - 54
Avionics News January 2018 - 55
Avionics News January 2018 - 56
Avionics News January 2018 - 57
Avionics News January 2018 - 58
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Avionics News January 2018 - 70
Avionics News January 2018 - 71
Avionics News January 2018 - 72
Avionics News January 2018 - Cover3
Avionics News January 2018 - Cover4
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