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Elettronica Marittima hones satcom antenna with Italian special forces

The EVO-A-SAT 8P RRAO in its MOLLE-mounted on-the-move mode with the radiant elements extended (rear), and folded for stowage (front). Displayed by Elettronica Marittima at Eurosatory 2024. (Giles Ebbutt)

Italian communications specialist Elettronica Marittima has recently refined its special forces satellite communications (satcom) antenna by incorporating a low-noise amplifier (LNA), Janes learnt at the Eurosatory 2024 defence exhibition held in Paris from 17 to 21 June.

Weighing less than 500 g and less than 300 mm long, the basic handheld EVO-A-SAT 8P RRAO (Reggimento Ricognizione e Acquisizione Obiettivi) operates in the 230–400 MHz frequency band. Designed to fit in a trousers' thigh pocket when folded, the eight radiant elements of the antenna are made of a metallised memory-form material, held close by a Velcro strip. When this is released, the elements spring into their correct position. Once transmission is complete the elements are folded down and secured with the strip.

Giancarlo Caligiani, business development director for Elettronica Marittima, told Janes that the antenna can be deployed in about three seconds. The antenna handle then allows the operator to point it in the direction of the satellite. Its performance can be improved by using a reflective surface such as the ground or a vehicle bonnet.

The recent upgrade – 8P PLUS – incorporates an LNA in the antenna handle which is powered by the radio, with radio frequency (RF) and power functions sharing a single cable. Caligiani said that it has recently completed testing and it significantly improves the antenna's receiving capability.

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