An illustrative antenna system embedded in vehicle equipment according to one or more aspects of the present application / Tesla Patent
Tesla filed a patent for a multi-band antenna to improve global navigation satellite system technology. This will allow cars to be more accurate in determining their location, the location of the nearest charging stations, to work more perfectly in Autopilot and Smart Summon, etc.
Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology includes antennas that can receive signals from satellites in the earth’s atmosphere. GNSS antenna systems may be useful for providing global positioning system (GPS) signals and/or other signals in various contexts. GNSS antennas can receive signals on multiple frequencies to improve positioning accuracy. Reception of a multi-band signal can present technical problems associated with setting up an antenna to receive signals on more than one band. GNSS antennas can work more efficiently when they are clear of obstructions.
GNSS antennas that can receive satellite signals in the L1 (1559 MHz to 1610 MHz), L2 (1215 MHz to 1254 MHz), and L5 (1164 MHz to 1214 MHz) bands provide the ability to perform in situ corrections for atmospheric errors. In addition, GNSS antennas provide improved standalone performance. The accuracy of a multi-band antenna remains higher than that of single-frequency solutions when both are provided with the same quality corrections.
For example, GNSS antenna systems can be combined with data from other sensors (eg, ultrasonic sensors and/or cameras) to plan a vehicle route to a target location (eg, Smart Summon). They can also be useful for other features that include precise or general location information, such as navigation, Autopilot and other autonomous driving features, and finding nearby charging stations, restaurants, etc.
Some multi-band GNSS antennas have used stacked patch antennas or helix antennas. Such multi-band antennas can have complex feed structures designed to enhance Right Hand Circular Polarized Gain and suppress Left Hand Circular Polarized Gain to thereby improve performance. They tend to be larger or limited to a narrower bandwidth, which can result in performance degradation, making them not the best option for vehicle use.
On January 19, 2022, Tesla filed a patent for a “Multi-band antenna,” which was published on July 28, 2022. In it, the manufacturer describes an improved multi-band antenna that will better serve its purpose and be more ideal for use in vehicles. A notable feature is that the antenna will have built-in heating, which will allow it to operate seamlessly in all weather conditions, such as when there is snow or ice on it. As an example, Tesla demonstrates that such an antenna could be built into a windshield module.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.