Battelle’s RavenStar™ Antenna System Could Transform the Telecommunications Industry

alt= The Battelle’s RavenStar™ Antenna System posted on a telephone wire

After more than a decade of development, this new antenna technology is capable of transmitting 4x as much data as today’s cellular radios seen along the roadside.

We’ve all experienced the constraints of today’s wireless networks. Maybe your texts wouldn’t go through when you were at a concert in a packed stadium, or perhaps your signal suddenly dropped while you were using GPS or trying to make a call in a rural location. In a world where we’ve all come to rely on and expect constant wireless connectivity, these failures in service can catch us by surprise.

Network providers can’t always address those issues using the current technology. Despite the incredible progress that’s been made with 4G and 5G software, the physical limitations of current antenna hardware pose operational challenges. You can’t place antennas too close together, and a given piece of hardware only functions within a small frequency range. With limited space and nearly unlimited demand, the electromagnetic spectrum has emerged as some of the most expensive real estate in the world.

These high costs and physical impediments are holding the telecommunications industry back from offering wider coverage at lower cost to network customers – which would benefit every business, not to mention every person with a cell phone.

That’s why Battelle has designed the RavenStar™ Antenna System, a new technology that transforms antenna design so it is no longer bound by those physical limitations. The result is a system that measures less than one cubic foot and replaces multiple antennas that only support a single frequency. Instead, it contains a group of antennas, called an array, that support a wide range of frequencies. This makes it four times more efficient at using radio spectrum than existing antenna applications. RavenStar antenna technology enables a sleek and cost-efficient solution for ultra-wide bandwidth. It can also be mass-produced, distributed and installed at scale.

If it sounds remarkable, that’s because it is. Here are answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions about the technology:

What is the RavenStar Antenna System?

The RavenStar Antenna System is an ultra-wide bandwidth steerable radio unit with an integrated antenna. It can simultaneously support the entire Frequency Range 1 band (400MHz to 7.125GHz), including 4G and 5G, from a single array.

The antenna technology scales down the number of devices needed to provide always on, high bandwidth delivery while minimizing the footprint on a tower. It can operate on frequencies for Wi-Fi routers, the low cell phone frequencies that work well in your basement, the high frequencies that let you stream videos in a crowd, and more – with an array that doesn’t interrupt signals, even when placed close together.

To use an analogy, most antenna are like flashlights: While some other antennas can rapidly move a bright beam, they can do only a single frequency, or color. With RavenStar antenna technology, it’s like having many different colored flashlights all rapidly moving over the area, lighting it all up at once.

Watch this video to see how RavenStar antenna technology works:



How is RavenStar antenna technology different from what’s in market today?

Battelle has cracked the code on something engineers have been troubleshooting for years: how to improve radio frequency (RF) bandwidth while reducing its physical footprint. This system will provide owners of spectrum the ability to operate simultaneously in any bands they may own while making those bands capable of carrying four times as much data.

The RavenStar technology’s antenna/radio combo unit measures less than one cubic foot, meaning reduced materials and assembly time will cut costs for the telecommunications industry. It also reduces the number of devices needed to provide constant high-bandwidth delivery to commercial mobile phones.

In short, RavenStar antenna technology accomplishes more in the same amount of space, reducing financial, environmental and aesthetic costs. This means Battelle can simplify the complexities of building out 5G networks and beyond while allowing network providers to process more data to and from customers, and with fewer unsightly antenna boxes crowding around cell towers.

Who can benefit from the RavenStar antenna technology?

The RavenStar antenna technology is an ideal solution for network providers and neutral host providers in the telecommunications industry. Today, it is not uncommon to have more than a dozen antennas on a single tower operating at a variety of frequencies. Because of its compact size, Battelle’s RavenStar antenna technology covers all the frequency bands from one small box.

Additionally, it makes shared sites viable in small cells, stadiums, urban environments and in underserved rural regions. It will also provide coverage over larger land areas and streamline installation timelines.

For the telecommunications industry, this translates to lower overhead and greater efficiency – increasing bandwidth without raising the cost for customers.

What’s next for the RavenStar antenna technology?

Battelle has already successfully demonstrated the RavenStar antenna system’s ultra-wideband capabilities at the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation’s (VT-ARC) 5G/XG field test site near Blacksburg, Virginia. The demonstration system is the first radio unit to be able to cover 600Mhz to 7Ghz with a single aperture.

Soon, the RavenStar antenna system will be deployed in the southwest United States to collect additional performance data and mature the system in another challenging operating environment.

Where can I learn more?

To learn more about the RavenStar antenna technology and connect with a Battelle technology expert, click here.

Connect with a Battelle RavenStar™ Expert

Learn about how RavenStar™ simplifies the complexities of building out 5G networks and beyond.

Connect with an expert
February 23, 2024
Battelle Insider
Estimated Read Time
5 Mins


An Ultra-Wideband Technology Adaptable to your Wireless Network Needs.

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