Antenna innovation in the defence industry

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South Africa has some of the sharpest minds in the world, so it’s no surprise that some inventions used across the globe that are forever changing the face of technology were invented by South Africans. For the global defence and security markets, Alaris Antennas is part of SA’s innovation legacy by delivering customised, high-quality antenna solutions to its partners and clients across the world.

Alaris Antennas designs and manufactures specialised wide-band antennas and other related radio frequency products. These products sell in the electronic warfare, frequency spectrum monitoring, test and measurement, communication and other specialised markets and finds application in the system integration, frequency spectrum regulation and homeland security market space.

Today, more than ever before, the military and homeland security forces rely as much on their communication devices and networks as the weapons in their arsenals.

Technology and its functionality have evolved in terms of the hardware responsible for secure communication and monitoring. The single most integral part of any wireless communications hardware is arguably the humble antenna. Easily dismissed as some pointy looking bits of metal that adorn our roofs or the bunny ears on the televisions of yesteryear, the true complexity and precision engineering that lies behind these devices is easily underestimated with their modern ubiquity. Their origins lie in the pure scientific research of such greats as Heinrich Hertz and James Clerk Maxwell and their technological development furthered by the dual forces of the defence research and consumer communications industries. Their enduring need for innovation and specialisation has driven the antenna’s multiple application evolution, making it one of the most crucial pieces of hardware for all secure communication and monitoring needs.

In the defence and military industries in particular, antenna applications are almost endless, encompassing such activities as radio communications; radio direction finding, usually used as early detection systems; jamming, used to incapacitate a possible threat from being able to communicate, particularly with remote detonation devices; radio monitoring, used to track and follow frequencies that the opposing forces might be using; and radar, used to seek and track military assets from a distance.

Quick overview of applications for the Alaris Antenna’s product range:

Communication: Antennas designed with receive and transmit capabilities, typically geared towards field communications and applicable to both traditional HF/VHF and UHF communications as well as modern data network deployments. These antennas support a number of operational deployments, including vehicle, handheld and fixed platforms.

Jamming antennas: These high-power antennas are used to prevent unauthorised communications from functioning by facilitating localised domination of the electromagnetic spectrum. Typically, these antennas are wide-band in nature, with very good impedance matching.

Counter-RCIED: A special case of jamming antennas, these are typically deployed specifically to counter the threat of Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (RCIEDs). The focus is on man and vehicle deployments with a strong move towards radiator co-localisation and wide-band performance.

Monitoring: Antennas specifically designed with the intent to detect signals. These antennas are typically deployed on vehicle and fixed platforms. The focus is on wide-band, high sensitivity performance, and includes the use of active antenna concepts.

Direction finding: A class of monitoring antennas designed with the specialised capability of being able to determine the direction of arrival of incoming signals. These antennas are widely diverse, deployed across the spectrum, from large-scale fixed sites to compact man-portable scenarios, airborne platforms and even submarines.

Growth

Starting as part of a small consultancy from Wits University (South Africa) in 1990, Alaris Antennas has grown to become a substantial supplier of advanced antenna solutions with more than 75% of all sales being international. The holding company, Alaris Holdings (previously Poynting Holdings), is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s (JSE) ALTx. For the last five years, Alaris Antennas has shown a steady annual growth rate, with a year-on-year average exceeding 20%.

For sales enquiries: 
Visit: www.alarisantennas.com
Contact: [email protected]
Tel: +27 11 034 5300

For media and interview enquiries:

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Elsjené Burger
Investor Relations Contact for Alaris Holdings
Marketec Holdings
Phone: (011) 510 0124
Mobile: 082 717 2164
E-mail: [email protected]