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BATS testing auto-aiming antenna

Darren Murph

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Broadband Antenna Tracking Solutions, or BATS for short, is a start-up company founded by a group of Purdue University professors who are developing an auto-aiming antenna system for wireless networks. Using proprietary software and off-the-shelf electronics, the system works by mounting a seeker antenna on a stationary or mobile object (boats and vehicles included) and allowing the powerful tracking software to keep a constant lock on the nearest target antenna. Currently designed for WiFi and fixed wireless broadband radios (WiMax support is planned, if ever needed), the BATS system can maintain a connection longer and suffer less interference due to the directional antennas broadcasting a fixated beam. The movement of the seeker antenna is controlled by two servo motors and a programmable logic controller (PLC) that is directed by software calculations, which in tests could maintain a signal on a moving watercraft for 12 miles, and keep a cruising vehicle connected for 8 miles. The application is, of course, of relatively limited use for civilians, but if there's a chance we'll see it commercialized since the BATS management team is currently seeking potential investors to get this project dialed in.

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