Luxul Wireless added new 2.4 GHz antennas to its X-WAV flat panel antenna family. The antennas use technology first developed for the space program to deliver greater signal reach and penetration, especially in areas where communications typically are hindered by obstructions — such as walls or trees — that limit coverage, said Tyler Crawford, the company's CEO.

The family of antennas was developed specifically for the Wi-Fi marketplace, Crawford said. The core technology behind the product is circular polarization, which has been around since the late 1950s. NASA was the first to develop the technology for ground-to-space communications, and Luxul has integrated the technology into its line of antennas since 2000. This signal-boosting technology, dubbed Clear-WAV, delivers increased penetration, range and clarity, he said.

“It was created to support a signal's better penetration through clouds,” Crawford said. “And also to overcome the limitations that wireless often has, which is multipath — a reflected signal, which in wireless results in really poor reception.”

Circular polarization overcomes that limitation, so the company adapted the technology for the Wi-Fi market. Crawford said the 2.4 GHz antennas have a small form factor and low profile and are designed for mobile networking or LAN deployment.

“It can be a hospital, a hotel, a campus [or] a logistical center,” he said. “And in that setting, instead of trying to find the strongest signal and moving the device around to try and make that link strong, this antenna technology offers better penetration through walls and other obstructions.”

Crawford said the antenna solution also offers users the increased ability to connect subscribers on the outer edges of a network. It currently is available and costs $50 to $150 depending on the gain and type of antenna. — Mary Rose Roberts

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Antenna vendors

Astron Wireless Technologies ■ Comprod Communications ■ Laird Technologies ■ Larsen Antenna ■ Mobile Mark ■ Myers Engineering ■ Kathrein Inc. ■ PCTEL ■ Scala Division ■ STI-CO Industries Inc. ■ TerraWave Solutions ■ For a complete listing of vendors, visit the Urgent Communications 2009 Resource Guide at www.urgentcomm.com