Get to Know GPS Antennas

October 31, 2019 at 8:00 AM


Not sure if you need a GPS antenna? Wondering the best way to use a GPS antenna? These specialized antennas are made to receive and amplify radio signals transmitted on specific frequencies by GPS satellites. Those signals are then converted to an electronic signal for use by a GPS receiver. The output of the GPS antenna is fed into the receiver which can calculate the position. Here, we’ll take a closer look at GPS antennas, their uses and applications.


First, let’s get a better idea of reasons why you might need a GPS antenna. For example, in a vehicle, if a GPS receiver will not be near a window, a GPS antenna might be necessary to ensure you don’t lose signal. Also, in canyons, when surrounded by tall buildings, under cover of a lot of trees or any time view of the sky is obstructed, an external GPS antenna can be a huge help. They can also help avoid loss of signal in a moving vehicles and aid in generally maintaining the best satellite signal.


There are three different types of GPS antennas:


·        Active GPS antennas include a Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) to compensate for signal loss that happens with all cables. Power from the GPS receiver is required, and provided by an external antenna jack in order to power the LNA which, in turn, can drain the receiver’s batteries faster.


·        Passive GPS antennas don’t include LNAs and thus don’t require power. However, because they’re not powered, one meter is usually the maximum cable length for the pigtail.


·        Reradiating GPS antennas are made up of two separate antennas. The transmitting, reradiating, antenna is near the GPS receiver while the receiving antenna is outside the building or vehicle. The two antennas are connected by a coaxial cable and powered by either an AC adapter or a 12 volt vehicle supply. This type of GPS antenna is necessary if there isn’t an external antenna jack on your GPS system.


Applications that are ideal for GPS antennas include ground mapping, survey, construction, agriculture, mining, and permanent and temporary reference stations. Of course, GPS antennas are an immense asset for aircraft. And with today’s developments in transportation technology, GPS antennas are a must for unmanned vehicles.


Now that you know the ins & outs of GPS antennas, be sure to check out our high-performance GPS Antennas that are in-stock and available for immediate delivery.


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