For the Old Crows, Cobham, a UK Defense Technology firm, announced that it now offers a multi sector antenna. This is great news for a number of reasons but the most significant one is the looming death of the steerable array.
As you know, sector antennas provide wide area coverage in a smaller and simpler package than an omnidirectional antenna. The most significant drawback of sector antennas are the nulls between sidelobes. These are areas of reduced signal strength and low signal to noise ratio. The further away the receiver is from the antenna the larger the area of weak signal.
Cobham’s design provides 3 to 12 sectors with an azimuth beamwidth from 30° to 120°. Spectrum coverage is from 1Ghz to 15 Ghz at a gain of 10dBi to 17dBi vertical, horizontal circular and ± 45° polarization.
Again, those null points are potential gotchas and the company’s release makes no comments of fills.
For the SOF comm folks the multi sector array could solve a number of practical problems. Check it out.