AvL Technologies

AvL Technologies, Inc. provides solutions and support for satellite ground terminals for SNG, mobile broadband Internet access, Disaster Relief, Oil & Gas Data Backhaul, and Defense & Homeland Security customers throughout the world. AvL offers the world’s largest range of satellite antennas for vehicle-mount, flyaway and fixed Earth station applications with sizes ranging from 60cm to 5.0m. Thanks to state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities, cutting edge designs and development, AvL antennas are extraordinarily sturdy, efficient and reliable.

AvL Technologies, Inc. is a privately held US company, with regional offices in the UK and China that is designing manufacturing and marketing of mobile satellite communication antenna and positioner systems for vehicle mount and flyaway applications. Its products include vehicle-mount premium, manual flyaway and motorized flyaway for both military and defense and satellite news gathering (SNG) antennas.

Company History

AvL Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1994 by Jim Oliver in the basement of his Asheville home in North Carolina, USA, after a friend requested that he designs a compact, rugged and stiff antenna positioner for SNG trucks. Oliver began his experience 55 designing antenna positioners on satellites in 1967 for Lockheed Missiles and Space. His Earth Station Antenna experience started in 1979 as Engineering Manager for the Antenna Division of Scientific Atlanta where he was responsible for the development of 3 to 11m Earth Station Antennas. Oliver was co-founder of RSI/SatCom Technologies (later to become GDSatcom Technologies, a division of General Dynamics) where he developed another complete product line including the first 2.4m SNG antenna system.

In 1998 Oliver moved the company to the A-B Tech Small Business Incubator when he hired his first employee. By 2002, Oliver recognized the need for an auto-acquisition transportable antenna that could be operated by anyone, including volunteers, when he was contacted by the American Red Cross. During and after disasters, armies of Red Cross volunteers jump into action providing help and communications. Therefore, an auto-acquire transportable satellite antenna was absolutely necessary and that antenna needed to be simple to operate.

Oliver contacted another industry friend, Dave Provencher, who co-founded a small company called TracStar. Provencher had designed and built an antenna control system for digital video broadcasting, or DVB, receive-only antennas for the recreational vehicle industry, and Oliver had a concept for using DVB technology to obtain very accurate azimuth headings to locate satellites. Oliver and Provencher, along with TracStar CTO Chris Hadley, jointly developed a new DVB-based satellite locating method, which led to the first fully auto-acquisition antennas. This new auto-acquisition method worked extremely well and a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship between AvL Technologies and TracStar was formed. Provencher later transitioned the ownership of TracStar to Cobham, then took a year off before joining AvL in 2015.

Oliver did not stop with auto-acquire SNG and VSAT antennas. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the resulting invasion of Iraq brought a need for high bandwidth communications built to withstand rugged and harsh environments and operated by non-technical war fighters. Oliver’s team, with Mike Proffitt at the helm of operations, quickly designed and built a 1.0 meter aperture reflector, segmented in four pieces, and a 2.0m antenna with nine segments, and outfitted both transportable positioners with a fully auto acquire TracStar controller. This design used carbon fiber composites similar to that of the flyaway antennas from Advent.

In 2010 AvL Technologies relocated its Asheville-based operations with a 5.9 million USD facility investment. The move allowed AvL to expand its carbon fiber product capability, the material of choice for wind turbine blades and aeronautical components.

In 2015 AvL Technologies received the ISO 9001 Certification.

In October 2016 AvL announced a new line of products of fixed Earth station antennas range in size from 85cm to 5.0m and feature AvL’s unique carbon fiber and engineered carbon fiber composite reflectors, which tolerate extreme heat.

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Resources   edition March 8th 2010  edition September 2017