What Is A Covert Antenna?

Posted by STI-CO® Antenna Solutions on 23rd Mar 2023

Law enforcement vehicles are often highly visible to the public, with marked patrol cars being easily identifiable from a distance.

However, there are certain units within law enforcement that require a more covert approach, such as undercover operations or surveillance activities.

In these situations, it's crucial to maintain a near-factory OEM vehicle appearance to avoid drawing unwanted attention.

Despite the need for a low profile, reliable communication remains a top priority for law enforcement officials, especially in critical situations.

This is where covert antennas come in, providing a solution that maintains the appearance of the vehicle while ensuring reliable communication.

At STI-CO® we’ve been producing and selling covert antennas since 1967.

In that time we’ve come to understand and have developed a high-quality, covert antenna system for a wide variety of vehicles.

We’re going to explain exactly what a covert antenna is, who might use them, and more.

Why Should You Use A Covert Antenna?

Covert Antennas for Undercover Agents

Covert antennas are designed to replicate the factory vehicle antenna, while still providing the intended radio communication functionality.

The goal is to maintain an OEM look by hiding the technology in plain sight.

The vehicle would maintain its factor appearance yet allow law enforcement officials to communicate over their radio without drawing unwanted attention.

Looking just like a regular vehicle driving down the road.  For example, an undercover police car might require a covert antenna that looks like a regular car antenna to avoid raising suspicion.

The vehicle would maintain its factor appearance yet allow law enforcement officials to communicate over their radio without drawing unwanted attention. Looking just like a regular vehicle driving down the road.

Similarly, a surveillance van might require a covert antenna to blend in with the surroundings.

  • Covert antenna systems allow law enforcement officials can operate more safely and effectively in various situations without attracting unwanted attention.
  • They can be used in a wide variety of situations to help law enforcement officials maintain a low profile.

{Click here or call us toll-free at (866)-307-8426 to get in touch with one of our expert antenna representatives and learn more about how a covert antenna could work for your specific vehicle or fleet of vehicles}

Are Covert Antennas Exact Replicas of Typical Vehicle Antennas?

STI-CO Multi-Band Fender Mount Antenna

STI-CO® attempts to replicate the factory antenna as closely as possible when designing and engineering covert vehicle antennas.

Various factors like vehicle type, frequency range, and more come into play when considering the exact design.

  • We work with OEM manufacturers to use factory vehicle components to offer the most covert antenna options available on the market.
  • Appearance and performance are some of our top priorities when designing an antenna to ensure that the user is safe by keeping their vehicle discreet and the radio system performing at the highest level possible.

An additional factor to consider when purchasing a covert vehicle antenna is the required frequency range of the antenna. 

This will have an impact on the appearance of the antenna because certain frequency ranges like standard VHF (136-174 MHz) typically require a longer mast length than a higher frequency like 7-800 MHz.

Are Covert Antennas Only For Law Enforcement?

Covert Antennas for Military Land Vehicles

No, there are many different use cases for covert antennas across various industries that include:

  • Federal government vehicles
  • Military operations
  • State and local municipalities
  • Energy corporations
  • Telephone corporations
  • Utility companies
  • Public transit companies and systems
  • Railroad police
  • School bus companies
  • and more

    The goal is to maintain a factory OEM appearance while still being able to communicate over radio frequencies, which can be crucial in emergency situations.

    As such, designing an effective covert antenna requires a balance between appearance and performance, and often involves using factory vehicle components and working closely with OEM manufacturers.

    If you are interested in getting a covert antenna for your specific vehicle or fleet of vehicles, it is best to consult with an expert antenna representative to ensure that the antenna is designed to meet your specific needs.

At STI-CO® we’re committed to understanding your needs and how one of our antennas might work for you and your company. To learn more or request a custom-engineered product, click here.