Once again Merck, a science and technology company, has been kind enough to sponsor one of my blog post, which like before gives me the freedom to talk about something a little bit off the beaten track.
Being a YouTuber and bit of a beard it will come as no surprise that I have a rather impressive wifi hub network installed in my house. This network allows me to effortlessly transfer large quantity between multiple devices with a click of a button. It also tells me how many devises are connected at any one time and even with the vast majority of my games consoles switch off at the wall I have a total of 12 gadgets currently connected. I have both my work and personal computer and phones, my TV and lights, as well as my YouTube subscriber counter which you may have seen in the back of some of my videos to name a few. My point is that access to the internet is no longer a luxury and slowly over my lifetime has become a utility. In 2017 there were just over 27 billion device connected to the internet and it is predicted that by 2030 that number will increase to an impressive 125 billion! For this to be a reality powerful and reliable network connections are essential for the transmission of ever increasing quantities of data. Recently technology companies have been working on small low Earth orbit satellites to expand the internets reach allowing for people in remote areas to access it. Currently you need a clear line of sight to the satellites orbiting the Earth to ensure optimal signal transmission which is usually done mechanically making the ground based technology cumbersome and often in need of maintenance. Smart antennas can help solve many of these issues.
Smart antennas are an array of many smaller antennas which unlike traditional antenna are not oriented mechanically but instead electronically aimed directly at the satellite. The advantage of smart antennas is that they can be used almost anywhere on the planet to receive large quantities of data and unlike their ageing counterparts do not need to be maintained, repaired or replaced as frequently. Their design is also much flatter which allows for very flexible use, for example in vehicles. Because of their higher data speeds and efficiency in transmitting signals, smart antennas also play an important role in the optimisation of the 5G network.