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ElegAnt Solutions (ES) provides ad hoc consultancy and design services in the field of antennas and RF circuits. The one-man company, based in Enschede in the Netherlands, was founded in 2004 by Ir. Hans van Bruggen (1959). Founder (also owner) has an almost lifelong experience in RF practices and studied Electronic Engineering at Twente University. He graduated in 1987 with a program focussed on microwave technology, antennas and radio propagation, advanced analog electronics and analog and digital communication technology. As RF design & application engineer, he successively worked at Philips Semiconductors (4 yrs), Ericsson (8 yrs), National Semiconductor (1 yr), SaRonix (1 yr) and Nedap (1 yr), before he finally decided that he wanted to have the freedom to work for more than just one firm, no longer being tied to one company, one product and one technology. He wrote a business plan to offer his RF specialist knowledge and experience to companies lacking the appropriate resources, and subsequently founded ES. He invested private capital in the setup of a home-office/RF-lab/mechanical workshop with all necessary equipment and tools.

Since 2004, ES has worked for clients like Sony Ericsson, Nedap and Handicare, with jobs mostly varying in size between 10 and 160 hours, sometimes in time sharing between more clients. Most jobs involve the design of special antenna structures for equipment with an RF interface (e.g. 868 MHz, 2.4 GHz), like wireless headsets, wireless remote controls and wireless fire detection networks. Invariably there is a special challenge, such as very limited space, or specific radiation pattern requirements. ES has a vast collection of books, articles and notes to aid in finding possible solutions for the clients question. Attractive possible solutions are then studied and, if considered feasible, optimized with the help of simulation tools, like NEC-based tools and Ansoft Designer. Physical models are being prepared and put to the test in ES' own RF laboratory, with measurement equipment comprising a.o. a 6 GHz vector network analyzer with S-parameter test set and a 22 GHz spectrum analyzer. Meanwhile, clients are being updated regularly on the progress, and important design choices are discussed. Finally a sample product containing a prototype antenna or RF circuit is subjected to a final test, in ES' lab or elsewhere, the outcome of which is communicated to the client in a report. Another category of jobs is the verification of existing RF frontend designs. As a sideline activity, ES also offers technical documentation services, such as translations E-N and D-N of manuals and text books.

Founder does not accept antenna and RF design jobs larger than approx. 160 hours in one go, and does not offer discounts for larger-size jobs. Such to avoid the relation with the client gradually resembling a regular employer-employee relationship. Especially the responsiveness (feedback) of clients, of vital importance for ES to make swift and well-directed progress, has proven to get worse with longer jobs. Smaller jobs help 'to keep pressure on it'. Usually an estimate is made of the time needed for a job, and a preliminary maximum number of hours is set accordingly in the contract. Each time when ES reports its progress to the client, also the number of hours spent so far is always being indicated, in order to allow the client to keep track of costs.

As far as antenna design is concerned, ES specializes in the design of electrically small antennas, wideband antennas, and electric or magnetic field coupled antennas. The impedance matching, operating bandwidth and radiation efficiency are typical challenges associated with the design of electrically small antennas. ES applies a number of techniques to optimize their performance. Using E- or H-field coupled instead of galvanically connected antennas is an interesting alternative solution for many applications because it offers certain advantages, such as ESD-protection. The radio can be implemented on pcb and the (conformal) antenna can be part of the enclosure, with no physical connection in between.

ES offers it services under its general Terms & Conditions as filed at the regional Chamber of Commerce. The text can be found on the company website www.elegantsolutions.nl (in Dutch only, for the time being). ES definitely does not accept 'no cure no pay' proposals. Also hiring or payment constructions via third parties are not accepted. Invoices are sent directly upon conclusion of a job, or at least once a month. Payment within 21 calendar days after invoice date.