CST – Computer Simulation Technology

Antenna Design and Placement for the Automotive Market

Recording date: December 4, 2014

60 min

Whether for business or leisure, we spend an increasing proportion of our time in our cars. We have seen a corresponding increase in the implementation of all kinds of technologies in the car for entertainment, utility, and safety. A typical high-end car today has AM, FM, DAB and GSM satellite radio, tire-pressure monitoring (TPM), remote entry and start, in-vehicle TV, GPS navigation, Bluetooth, electronic toll collection, and multiple radar systems (e.g. collision avoidance, parking assistance, adaptive cruise control).

Next generation vehicles will add LTE, Wi-Fi and additional systems for automated driver assistance. Specialized vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) ad-hoc communication networks are currently some of the most popular fields of research for efficient car information systems. The implication is that engineers have to place an ever-increasing number of wireless systems, each one with its own dedicated antenna(s), in relatively close proximity on the same vehicle.

Initial placement of these antennas in a non-interfering manner is a big challenge, even before taking into account the duplication of the antennas to support the diversity requirements of systems such as V2V communications. For this reason, engineers typically want to know not just how an antenna behaves in the free-space environment of the anechoic chamber, but also how it will perform in its installed environment. The transmitters used in automotive environment also have to comply with legal limits on human exposure and SAR. Performing an installed performance analysis using prototypes alone can be expensive, time-consuming, or even impossible. Simulation of a virtual prototype system can make the process of deciding where to place an antenna and analyzing its performance much more straightforward.

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