Have you ever stop to think about our modern age today? In particular, have you thought about the way we communicate, how we watch our favorite television shows, or how we listen to radio programs on the radio? Devices such as mobile phones, cable television boxes, and radios are some devices we use every day that utilize signals to send and receive information. Have you ever wondered about the types of antennas that are used in these applications? Today, we will discuss a few different types of antennas used in telecommunication.
Directional antennas are one of two major types of antennas used by cellular companies. This particular antenna can only transmit and receive in one specific desired direction, only. It is commonly used to improve reception in higher-traffic areas such as along highways or inside buildings like arenas and stadiums. This type of antenna is also used by satellite radio devices.
This type of antenna is the other major type of antenna used in telecommunication. Unlike, the previous antenna, omnidirectional antennas can transmit and receive in any direction. Omnidirectional antennas are best suited in applications where a good all-around coverage is desired.
Parabolic antennas are commonly referred to as dish antennas. Satellite television receivers and radio telescopes use parabolic antennas because its curve surface gathers and focuses the radio waves into a small feed antenna. Ultimately, these radio waves are converted into electrical signals. The larger the surface of this particular antenna the greater sensitivity it ill be, such as the famous Arecibo Radio Telescope. For consumer use, we typically notice these on home who are subscribed to satellite television providers and are normally greyish in color.
As the name implies, horn antennas take the shape of a horn to direct radio waves in a beam with its flare-like metal shape. Typical devices that use this type of antenna are automatic garage door openers and radar speed guns. Horn antennas provide broad bandwidth and can be easily adjusted.
Rubber Ducky Antenna
Nope, it’s not bath time. The name is said to have derived from two rumors surrounding the Kennedy family. One of which came from President John F. Kennedy’s daughter. After seeing it on one of the guards, she pointed and said “rubber ducky”. The other rumor was said to derive from a senior NASA scientist stating that he named it after listening to a comedy about the Kennedy family. Wherever the name came from, the small but mighty rubber ducky antenna was and is still used today both in personal and professional applications. Personal uses include walkie-talkies and similar devices. Professionals also use rubber ducky antennas and they include law enforcement agencies such as the police and the U.S. Secret Service.
These are only to name a few different types of antennas used today, you may not see them right away but they are there. After all, we wouldn’t be able to watch television, talk on the phone, or listen to the radio without them.