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Shell Solar Race DAS

For decades NavtechGPS has designed and integrated DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems) for the unique and specialized applications of our customers.

A customer reached out to us with regard their vehicle for an international solar race challenge. The customer’s vehicle has an RTK enabled GPS/GNSS system, which relies on a local correction system. NavtechGPS would be tasked with ensuring that the correction system is mobile and easily transportable, provides standalone power to its RF network, works with differing lengths of RF cables, and is easy and quick to assemble.

The customer was already in the process of building the correction system in a waterproof case that could be deployed in a matter of minutes and left on its own unattended. NavtechGPS designed the RF cable system and a way to power that system without pulling power from the GNSS receiver, providing standalone power to the RF portion of the system while maintaining its compact size and portability. 

The system must be flexible to operate effectively in the varied situations they encounter, therefore, the system needs to work with varying lengths of RF cables. Changing the length of the RF cable creates a challenge.  I the gain is too high or too low the system will not work properly. Gain is lost as the signal is carried by the RF cable and this loss increases with the length of the cable.

NavtechGPS solved the problem by adding a custom-made bias T splitter with external power matching the user’s specified voltage as well as an amplifier for use with the longer RF cables which could be removed for use with the shorter RF cables.  The entire system is powered via the RF cable from the splitter.

Finally, the system was designed to fit together only one way so it could not be put together improperly. If assembled improperly, the system would operate with decreased performance and possibly not at all.

 In the end, the customer’s system suited the needs of the project by producing a properly balanced RF signal with a standalone power source in a portable package that is quick and easy to setup.


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