What are Flyaway Antennas?

What are flyaway antennas and where are they used?

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- everything RF

Apr 12, 2022

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Flyaway Antennas are portable antennas used for satellite communication. They are designed using detachable parts and can be broken down into several small parts that can fit into a backpack or box and re-assembled on the spot when required. The name ‘Flyaway’ comes from the fact that they can be transported from one place to another in a box.

Flyaway antennas consist of a reflector, feed system, azimuth and elevation adjusting mechanism, and tripod pedestal. These antennas are usually made of aluminum or fiber, which makes them lightweight and very sturdy to withstand harsh environmental conditions. These portable antennas usually weigh less than 10 Kg and require no tools when being assembled.

The antenna reflectors can consist of several panels, which helps in quick assembly, high precision reassembly, and ease of transportation. They are available in various sizes such as 0.75 m, 0.98 m, 1.2 m, 1.8 m, etc. depending upon the needs of the consumer. The antennas support communication services such as voice, data, and fax.

The reflector of a flyaway antenna is made of carbon fiber composite material, which makes it lightweight, has high modulus, and a low coefficient of thermal expansion. Because of poor conduction, the carbon fiber reflector is metal-plated by using metal ion transference. The feed system of a flyaway antenna usually consists of a feed source and duplexer, mounted on the feed pedestal. The feed pedestal is fixed at the bottom of the main reflector’s locating face, along with a rod to ensure the correct position of the feed source. The azimuth adjusting device, elevation adjusting device, and the strut (rod) legs all are categorized as the pedestal structure of the antenna. Each part of the flyaway antenna pedestal can be demounted manually, loaded in bags, and removed and repaired by individually.

Flyaway antennas are widely used in T.V. media where providing live coverage on the go is required. These antennas are also used for communication in remote areas such as oil and minefields, gas fields, deserted islands, in military operations where conventional coverage is negligible. They are also used for establishing emergency connections in disaster-stricken areas where conventional ground communication is destroyed.