The new Intelligent Antenna Module is designed to integrate multiple antennas as well as the corresponding transmission and reception electronics into one unit.
It enables wireless communication between the vehicle and its outside environment as well as inside the passenger compartment for applications like telephone, GPS, remote keyless entry, tire pressure monitoring system, WLAN, radio, TV or future car-to-car communication.
The antenna module links via a digital bus to various control units in the vehicle, which process the data and make applications available to the user.
Continental and Kathrein, the world’s oldest antenna manufacturer, have designed the Intelligent Antenna Module to solve several challenges currently presented by wireless mobile communication.
The concept is highly scalable. Tailored to the needs of the car manufacturer, any mixture of coaxial and databus connections is possible which will reduce the number of cables, connectors and elaborate intermediate amplifiers. With fewer components, the cost and weight of the vehicle can be substantially reduced.
The Intelligent Antenna Module substantially reduces complexity. Currently radio receivers and transmitters are spread over many control units inside the vehicle. For instance, it is quite complicated for several applications in various control units to use one single piece of information.
If the location information from the GPS signal is needed by a navigation system as well as by an eCall emergency call system, at present two GPS receivers and antennas are typically required, since every vehicle that has a navigation system is not necessarily equipped with an eCall system as well, and vice versa.
The Intelligent Antenna Module provides this information to all application centrally via the databus, and only one GPS receiver is required.
Continental and Kathrein are currently working with two customers to develop an intelligent antenna module for volume production. Two further projects are in the advanced development phase.