Dielectric Ships Panel Antenna Systems for American Tower Repack Projects

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Dielectric shipped two stacked antenna arrays to American Tower for repack projects in the Dallas and Boston markets.

The antennas incorporate Adaptive Polarization Technology (APT), allowing individual broadcasters to select their own polarization ratio independent of the other stations operating in the same array. The addition of the vertical component will be beneficial to improving reception for both ATSC 1.0 and future ATSC 3.0 over-the-air broadcasts, according to the manufacturer.

The stacked antenna arrays are anchored by TUM-APT Series UHF panel antennas for American Tower’s master antenna TV station clients, with customized antennas for other TV stations on top of the stack. The Dallas repack project includes a dual-channel, center-fed, elliptically polarized TFU Series UHF array for KUVN-DT and KSTR-DT on top, whereas the Boston repack installation adds a circularly polarized TDM Series VHF array for WGBY-DT above the TUM-APT. 

The stacked arrays offer improved azimuth pattern performance over the more traditional main and sidemount antenna system, which can disrupt the azimuth pattern and cause signal reception issues due to the tower structure, according to Dielectric. By stacking the antennas, both systems transmit into free space as true top-mounted arrays, allowing for a stronger, interference-free pattern with no tower scattering effects. The TUM-APT is designed to incorporate the transmission line for the top mount inside the mast. This line is traditionally outside the mast, causing the azimuth pattern to become distorted.

Dielectric’s engineering expertise also ensured that the TUM-APT structure can support the heavier weights of stacking an additional array on top, thanks to specially designed splines that can support both arrays from a single installation point. Dielectric’s Vice President of Sales Jay Martin adds that both antenna systems were designed for helicopter lifts to expedite the installation process.

The antennas are scheduled to go on the air this summer following the installation of transmission line and RF systems.

May 31, 2019

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