International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation
Challenges on Multi-band Antennas for the Public Safety Radios
Ooi Soo Liam, Koh Boon Ping, Por Chee Seong,
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In recent years, it has been felt that the communication industry has gone through tremendous progress in wireless communication, but not for the public safety personnel. In the United States, for example, there is a need to provide better wireless communications for police officers, firefighters and paramedics. As a result, it has been projected that one-half of public safety agencies in the United States will be replacing these systems within the next few years. The replacement of public safety radio systems represents a sizable capital investment for state and local governments.  The Department of Homeland Security runs a communications program called SAFECOM to provide research, development, testing and evaluation, guidance, tools, and templates on interoperable communications-related issues to local, tribal, state, and Federal emergency response agencies. Interoperability refers to the ability of emergency responders to work seamlessly with other systems or products without any special effort. To support interoperability, the most significant challenge for the antenna engineer in the wireless public safety industry, is to provide antennas that supports Cross-band or Multi-band. The ability of a radio to operate on multiple bands, such as VHF/UHF or 700/800 MHz, enhances opportunities to communicate across systems with one radio device. Support for multiple bands or cross band communications increases opportunities for interoperability. This paper provides an overview of the design challenges and the development of multi band portable radio antennas by reviewing several key technology enabler antenna design concepts.