My next challenge is to pick the right antennas for control module and ground station so that the two can communicate at 10-15mile distance.
Initially I thought to use two 7dbi omni-directional antennas; after reading about antenna polarization I realized that this setup may have intermittent reception: payload will spin in flight, which will randomly change payload’s antenna polarization. Ground station will have good reception (when payload/ground antennas are in the same plane) followed by bad reception (when payload spins and antennas become cross-polarized).
I’m thinking to use omni antenna for payload and circular-polarized antenna for ground station. This will result in 3db loss but will not be affected by payload movements.
Current antenna choices are:
Control module antenna
Choice #1: Laird MA9-7N Omni antenna, 7dbi, 1.5 VSWR, 6oz weight, 20″ length, N-type connector
Choice #2: l-com rubber-duck Omni antenna, 5dbi, 2.5 VSWR, 2oz weight, 17″ length, RP-SMA connector
Ground station antenna
Choice #1: Teletronics 15-593 LHCP patch antenna, 9dbi, 1.5 VSWR, 60° plane, 10″x10″, 2.5lb weight, N-type female connector
Choice #2: l-com RHCP patch antenna, 8dbi, 8dbi, 1.5 VSWR, 65° plane, 8.5″x8.5″, 1lb weight, RP-SMA connector
Choice #3: Laird PAL90209H patch antenna, 9dbi, 1.3 VSWR, 70° plane, 10″x10″, 2lb weight, N-type female connector
Choice #4: Microcom MT-262006 RHCP patch antenna, 9dbi, 1.3 VSWR, 63° plane, 12″x12″, 2lb weight, N-type female connector