Siretta Water Pump Antenna - Improving Lives in Africa

To help people in Africa to get clean water, Siretta Antennas and Oxford University have come together to develop a new antenna for water pumps.

Siretta Antennas and Oxford University collaborate to produce an innovative antenna design for African water pump. Water scarcity and a lack of safe drinking water is one of the world's major problems that affects over 1.1 billion people worldwide. Oxford University in conjunction with DFID designed a low-cost, go-anywhere mechanical water pump to deploy in Africa.


Oxford University asked Siretta Antennas to design a custom antenna for their low-cost data transmitter that immediately alerts an engineer if there is a problem with a water pump. Reducing the time it takes to fix a water pump could be the difference between a life and death for a whole community.

Siretta Antennas developed a bespoke antenna that conceals and vandal proofs the equipment. The final antenna looks like part of the pump handle and operates well on all four GSM frequencies and 3G. The design is virtually indestructible and does not look like an electronic antenna thereby not attracting interest by users.

The programme is now delivering around 500 of these water pumps to Africa and is on course to help supply water to 270 million African people by 2015.

Siretta is a manufacturer of antennas for all GSM M2M, GPS, Wifi, ISM bands and other short range applications. They are often asked to design an antenna to fit a certain space and application where our RF and mechanical design expertise are brought together to deliver our customers practical and value-for-money antenna solutions that work. The water pump handle antenna is an example of our design that will have to keep working for years in difficult environments.

Siretta Managing Director Nick Lidington said "it's what we do and is the product of decades of RF experience coupled with aesthetic and practical mechanical design. We are very pleased to have been involved with this humanitarian project and believe we have delivered the custom antenna result in the same vein"

Researcher Patrick Thomson said: "The technology is simple and robust. The transmitter is no bigger than a mobile phone and fits inside the hand pump. It automatically transmits water usage from the hand pump by SMS to water supply managers, who then immediately know when and where there is a pump that needs fixing. Siretta Antennas, based near Reading UK, have designed, manufactured and supplied the unique antenna and housing which has been crucial to this project."

Further information on the water pump project can be found http://www.sequoia.co.uk/whitepaper.php#13

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