Credit: Physics Org
Hard Science

The World’s Smallest TV Antenna Gets Killer Reception

This tiny antenna snags some strong signals.

Small Yet Strong

Researchers from the University of Morelos (UAEM) in Mexico have come up with a dual antenna that’s only 11 centimeters (4.33 inches) long, 6 millimeters (0.236 inches) thick, and weighs in at only 80 grams (2.8 ounces). The antenna is designed for broadcast TV and has already successfully passed various performance tests.

Dr. Margarita Tecpoyotl-Torres describes the antenna’s capabilities, saying: “In the California area (USA) it could pick up the signal of about 70 local channels, and after the analogue switch-off in Mexico City, recorded 28 channels, 23 of them without repetition.”

The project takes advantage of new materials and geometries in order to develop a much more compact antenna. Dr. Tecpoyotl-Torres explains that “[a]dvanced materials were tested and the design was based on an array of antennas and other elements.”

The littlest TV antenna. Credit: UAEM.

Going Global

The tiny antenna has also been successfully tested by one of Mexico’s largest TV companies. It works both outdoors and indoors without requiring an attachment or electricity, and can be used in conjunction with a signal splitter for use in multiple television sets.
Dr. Tecpoyotl-Torres says that “globally, we have not seen small TV antennas” with the smallest conventional antennas measuring 30 x 30 cm2.
“Due to the characteristics of our design, the patent was granted last year, and now we seek an investment opportunity that allows us to mass produce it. Although the manufacturing is semi-craft, its cost is less than what the market offers after the analog switch,” she adds.
The antenna was developed at the Center for Research in Engineering and Applied Sciences (CIICAp) at the University of Morelos. Dr. Tecpoyotl-Torres also credits her academic stay in London as having contributed to the development of the antenna, saying that it was a valuable experience being exposed to experts, comprehensive training, and potential investors.
“The cost of this training is very high and we had the great fortune to experience it thanks to the support received.”

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