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used with a particular type of antenna and early testing related to these issues will be useful.

The test results should be evaluated carefully as radio vendors’ test facilities are usually not certified and may have limitations such as inaccuracies, calibration issues, and incomplete tests. In short, this is useful data to have during product development, but it is not a substitute for certified lab tests.

7. Conclusion

Successful integration of an antenna into a wireless device depends on the understanding that the entire device is part of the antenna. The antenna cannot be added at the end of the design phase; it must be designed in from the very beginning of the product concept. Fixing antenna problems at the FCC or PTCRB testing facility is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.

The primary antenna performance goal must be efficiency. Efficiency is the primary performance metric of the antenna as a transducer between the radio and the propagation medium. Antenna tuning and impedance issues can usually be adjusted to some degree during development. However, an antenna design with inherently low efficiency, most often because of size constraints imposed by the industrial design, will often require substantial product re-design for improvement. Pre-testing of the entire system, especially with transmit harmonics and self- interference in mind, is critical. Testing as early as possible to identify potential issues, when they can be more easily fixed, will result in shorter development time and will ultimately result in substantial cost savings.

Use the knowledge, experience, and if available, the test facilities of the radio module manufacturer. The radio designers are familiar with the typical performance problems and test failures related to antennas and can provide excellent advice from the very beginning of the product design.

Antenna Fundamentals Technical Brief


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