Alaris is a South African success story. Under the leadership of CEO Juergen Dresel, the company designs and manufactures some of the best antennas in the world.
Its products are used in the communication, frequency spectrum monitoring, test and measurement, electronic warfare, and other specialised markets.
The company’s clients are mostly international organisations based in the United States, Europe, and Asia, where it has a reputation of providing high-quality and reliable products.
These clients include system integrators, spectrum regulators, and players in the homeland security space.
Its biggest and most successful market sector is system houses who require direction-finding (DF) and monitoring antenna systems.
Alaris is also at the forefront of electronic warfare and is a substantial supplier of advanced electronic warfare antennas globally.
Bespoke antenna design
What sets Alaris apart from many of its competitors is its client-centric approach, where it customises products to its client needs.
“This often helps our clients to win business and gives them an edge,” Dresel told MyBroadband.
From an engineering point of view, the direction-finding and monitoring antenna system market does not only require an antenna technology background, but a total direction-finding system knowledge.
“This is unique and specialised knowledge which Alaris possesses – also in the form of algorithms – and allows us to be very successful in this market segment,” he said.
“Due to this fact, Alaris is able to compete in first-world countries. All products and services Alaris Antennas offers is based on IP which is owned by Alaris.”
Alaris has developed many innovative products, which include man-pack DF antennas, naval DF antennas, and a wire LPDA (log periodic dipole array) product. These are shown below.
DF-A0120 man-pack antenna
The DF-A0120 man-pack antenna is a wideband DF antenna intended for on-the-move direction finding, from 20MHz to 3,000MHz.
The antenna array is implemented as a dual-band vertical stack with the low frequency band enhanced with patented hybrid loop-Adcock technology to provide improved sensitivity.
DF-A0037 naval antenna
The DF-A0037 naval antenna is a vehicle and marine-based direction-finding wideband antenna suitable for rugged applications.
Wire LPDA antenna
The LPDA-A0097 wire antenna is a medium-gain wideband directional LPDA antenna, and covers the frequency band from 30MHz to 500MHz.
This antenna is constructed using a unique wire technology. This makes the antenna lightweight and allows for very compact storage, and quick deployment and mounting.
The flexible nature of this antenna makes it easy to collapse and to break off any accumulated ice.
Alaris research and development
Alaris has 30 engineers at its company, of which 16 are involved in research and development, and industrialisation.
The company then takes in four students during the university holidays each year, where certain students are offered bursaries or are employed at Alaris during or after their studies.
Alaris also currently holds 18 patents registered mainly in Europe, the US, Canada, the UK, and South Africa.
What makes this impressive is that it all stems from its Centurion premises.
“All Alaris Antennas products are manufactured here, this includes newly-developed products as well as existing products that are re-produced,” said Dresel.
The manufacturing process – including the inventory stores, machine shop, assembly, and testing segments – has a staff complement of 67.