Glass for holding antennas
Suppliers of glass windows for the automotive industry nowadays also have to allow for connectivity. Some top-of-the-range vehicles already have dozens of antennas, some of them built into the glass, for radio at different frequencies, mobile telephony, Bluetooth, GPS, remote controls and many other applications. And with the arrival of self-driving vehicles, cars will communicate even more: with each other, with road furniture and with the surroundings in general.
AGC Glass Europe was eager to anticipate these needs and to position itself as a major player in connectivity, not only for the automotive industry but for other sectors as well.
Drawing on the experience of their Japanese colleagues in charge of similar installations, the European teams designed a facility that houses two anechoic chambers. These chambers are completely opaque to radio waves thanks to metal shielding lined with foam cones that cover the inside walls. The roomy interior is specially designed to be completely free of electromagnetic interference. This means the test signal is sufficiently pure to permit very precise measurement of the reception and transmission properties of different antennas.
This 10 million-euro investment was supported financially by the Walloon Region which was keen for the facility to also serve as a platform for other players in the field of connectivity in Wallonia.
The new facility enables AGC Glass Europe to offer a full service for design of antennas, with the key advantages of shorter development times and consequently lower costs. Antenna design starts with development based on expertise in digital simulation. The antenna is then optimised physically and its performance measured in the anechoic chamber, whether for telematics or for broadcasting (radio, television or whatever).
AGC makes its antennas expertise available for other fields than glass, including construction, transport, aerospace, telecoms etc. It offers support to all manufacturers, for measuring/testing and for rapid design and prototyping.
With its two anechoic chambers AGC Glass Europe has advanced facilities enabling it to offer all services connected with development of antennas, ranging from antenna design based on digital simulation to physical optimisation and performance measurement in the anechoic chambers. This expertise is available for antennas mounted on glass or on other materials, in fields such as the automotive industry, transport, construction, aerospace, telecoms and many others.
For more information on antennas incorporated in car windows go to www.agc-automotive.com
Faced with the growing needs for connectivity, glass is a convenient way of mounting antennas, both in the automotive industry and in the construction industry where windows may be fitted with WiFi, 4G or 5G antennas. Apart from its proven efficacy this solution is discrete and elegant, preserving a clean appearance. AGC Glass Europe develops systems for all types of antennas, whether for broadcasting (0-1 GHz), telematics (1-6 GHz) or 5G millimetre wave (10-100 GHz).