Dryden explains that one of the aspects of the Pantheon that his department particularly appreciates is compactness. “All five antennas are contained in one unit. If we needed to use individual antennas, the roof would be scattered with antennas,” he says.
In actuality, “there’s not enough real estate on the roof” for five antennas, Dryden notes. “Normally, you’d need two feet between antennas, which means five antennas with two feet in between all of them. The roof’s not big enough. Taoglas’ Pantheon allows us to accomplish communications we wouldn’t be able to accomplish otherwise.”
The Pantheon might officially be an external antenna, but it is proving quite effective in internal configurations, reports Dryden. In one case, the antenna was installed in an undercover vehicle “so we can’t have light bars and antennas all over the top,” he says. “We put it on the fender inside the back trunk area, and it’s been working inside the vehicle very well.”
Public agencies like police departments can’t assume lavish funding will be available so another differentiator for the Pantheon, says Dryden, is “the ability to upgrade in the future.” One near-term change will be utilizing the antenna’s Wi-Fi capabilities, adding to the current GPS and cellular functionality that is being used.
Wi-Fi connectivity is required for the laptops, tablets and proprietary hand-held devices used for writing tickets that Sparks patrol officers will be adding to their connected-equipment repertoire. “We want to be able to take a laptop into a person’s home to fill out a police report in the safety of the home versus out on the street, where people are exposed to the public and somewhat vulnerable,” relates Dryden.
Having done some testing of this new capability, Dryden is impressed. “We’ll be implementing (Wi-Fi) soon. The Pantheon is great. It works inside the vehicle. It works outside the vehicle,” he enthuses.
“There are many antennas out there, but not all are created equal,” she notes. Issues with size, reliability and performance can limit achieving the multi-channel communications objectives that are becoming so commonplace.
Demand in transportation sector exploding
The need for reliable networking among Sparks police officers reflects broader demand for 24/7 connectivity on the move by consumers and workers. In other industries, ”employees in company-provided vans expect to do email while on the road. Bus passengers want to use entertainment apps on their devices while on board. Trucking companies need real-time communications with their drivers. These are some of the more obvious places where there’s a need for more advanced antenna technology to enable all kinds of communication,” explains Rockwell from Taoglas.
“We’re known for pushing the envelope of antenna technology, particularly as M2M and IoT applications keep expanding,” says Rockwell. “The Pantheon is just one of many Taoglas antenna products that were designed to take communications to a new level, whether it’s a police officer in Nevada getting better data access or a vehicle or asset in the most remote parts of the globe achieving connectivity where cellular linkage is not available.”
The Pantheon is being used all over the world in various applications to support new and emerging functions.