I am looking to an antenna option to replace the current antenna we have for our long range RPAS (Quantum Systems Trinity F90+). I am looking for something that has an high dBi output, ~20, at 2.4GHz that I can extend 10-15 feet into the air to assist with obstructions.
This Antenna that I found might be a consideration, BOA24008NF PCTEL, Inc. | RF and Wireless | DigiKey.
What should information should I collect to ensure that an replacement antenna would be compatible with our system?
You will need to review the requirements in the documentation from the manufacturer for the Quantum Systems Trinity F90+.
Well, you would need to find out what connector type you need. If you can’t find a suitable antenna with the correct connector, we do carry adapters for many different types, such as those found here. It looks like the BOA24008NF uses a female N-type connector.
You will also need to ensure that the impedance of any antenna you find matches your current antenna. I don’t know what the specs are for your current antenna, but the vast majority are 50 Ohms.
Regarding the BOA24008NF you mention, one thing I notice is that for all of the antennas listed in its datasheet, they show that there seems to be an inverse correlation between the antenna gain and the “Elevation Half-Power Beamwidth”.
If I understand this correctly, the smaller this angle, the narrower or flatter (vertically speaking) the radiation pattern is for half-power signal strength. This means there is a trade-off between horizontal versus vertical range of the antenna. Thus, the higher the gain of this series of antennas, the worse the vertical signal range is. Depending on how high you fly, that may or may not be an issue, but it’s something to keep in mind. It may be that you would have to test a few to see which would be best suited for a particular application.
Here is the radiation pattern for the BOA24008NF, which I found here:
As Dave suggests, antenna gain (dBi) is achieved by focusing the beam pattern into a tighter angle; the higher the gain, the better you must aim. High-gain omnidirectional units like the one mentioned are useful for things like wi-fi installations where radios on the ground are talking to each other, but less good if a remote party is more than about 7° above the antenna’s horizon.