top of page


The Hirec series was specifically developed to address the challenge of ice and snow formation on antennas, windmills, and infrastructure. By utilizing Hirec, these surfaces can be protected, preventing signal deterioration during heavy rainfall.

Hirec forms a superhydrophobic coating on the surface, leading to a strong self-cleaning effect. This means that ice, snow, water, and dirt will not form on a treated surface. The series offers various application methods, allowing for flexibility in choosing the most suitable and functional approach for different scenarios.

With Hirec, you can ensure the uninterrupted operation of antennas, windmills, and infrastructure even in adverse weather conditions. The superhydrophobic coating provided by Hirec prevents ice and snow build-up, reducing the need for maintenance and enhancing the overall performance of these structures.

5 visions of NTT AT_v1.png


Application for high-frequency system

Reduces signal attenuation and maintenance during rainfall

NanoTech Solutions Norway AS

NTT Advanced Technology Corporation

NTT Advanced Technologies.jpg
NanoTech Solutions Wide-Logo - 247px x 110px trans.png

Snow and ice on telecommunications equipment

It is crucial to understand the significant impact of snow and ice adherence to critical telecommunications equipment, as it can lead to severe consequences such as damage, substantial expenses, and extended downtime. By recognizing these risks, operators can effectively safeguard operations and manage associated risks more effectively.

Equipment Impairment

The accumulation of snow and ice can cause extensive damage to telecommunications equipment. As ice builds up, it expands and contracts, creating cracks and fractures in delicate components. When the ice melts, it can lead to water infiltration, corrode vital circuits, and necessitate costly repairs or replacements. Additionally, if ice and snow detach from upper antennas or tower sections, they can damage lower-mounted equipment.


Escalated Expenditure

The financial impact of snow and ice-induced damage is significant. Beyond the costs of repairing or replacing damaged equipment, there are additional expenses related to increased energy consumption as systems work harder to maintain functionality in adverse conditions. Emergency repairs, technician interventions, and productivity losses also contribute to the financial burden.

Prolonged Service Disruption

Perhaps the most concerning consequence is the extended periods of service downtime. When telecommunications equipment is affected by snow and ice issues, communication networks can be compromised, leading to service outages, reduced customer satisfaction, and potential regulatory penalties. Every minute of downtime carries substantial costs, both in terms of financial implications and reputational damage.


By addressing the challenges posed by snow and ice adherence proactively, operators can mitigate risks, reduce costs, and ensure the uninterrupted operation of critical telecommunications equipment.

Communication tower antennas covered in snow with blue sky as copy space.jpg

Indeed, protecting critical equipment from the damaging effects of snow and ice is crucial, and Hirec serves as an effective shield in this regard. By utilizing Hirec, you can prevent the accumulation of ice, snow, and water on the equipment, reducing the risk of damage.

By implementing Hirec, you can minimize the costs associated with repairs or replacements that may be required due to snow and ice-related issues. Additionally, by preventing the buildup of ice and snow, you can minimize downtime, ensuring the smooth and uninterrupted operation of critical equipment.

Hirec offers a proactive solution to mitigate the risks posed by snow and ice adherence, providing a protective barrier that helps safeguard equipment, reduce costs, and minimize service interruptions. By utilizing Hirec, you can ensure the reliability and performance of critical telecommunications equipment, even in challenging weather conditions.


Ericsson Microwave Outlook 2023

Water-repellent radome

The most common culprit is water. In raindrop form, it is a well-known source of attenuation. There is also the wet-radome effect. This moisture can be water drops, ice, or (melting) snow. Especially during heavy  precipitation, the film formed on the radome can eat away dBs in the link budget. This effect is most pronounced at E-band, but also noticeable at lower frequencies.


This attenuation can be compensated with higher output power or larger antennas, or accepted by planning for shorter links or lower availability. Fortunately, water on the radome can be reduced by water-repellent coatings for microwave antennas, which add protection that does not affect radio wave propagation, and can significantly reduce water build-up on antennas.

The performance benefits can be evaluated by examining two parallel E-band links. Both are equipped with identical reflector antennas, but the radomes of one are treated with a water-repellent material. The short distance, less than 200 m, is well-suited for this analysis since the rain attenuation in the air is negligible and the fading is due to the wet radome alone.


Source: Ericsson 2023

Figure 8: Comparing fading on E-band links with water-repellent coated and non-coated antennas


Source: Ericsson 2023

Figure 9: Snow fading event – field trial with water-repellent radome coating on E-band links

The hydrophobic coating removes water quickly and there is no (or much less) water film build-up. This  Results in fades of shorter duration that are less pronounced. Figure 8 shows the fading statistics above
a multi-month period.


The benefit is clear: The probability of all fades, large and small, is reduced significantly. 

For microwave link planners, the times of year when the weather is at its worst are the most relevant for predicting availability. At the tail of the curve, we can see that
this is where the coating really makes a difference. If we consider the 0.01 percent worst fades (corresponding to the 99.99 percent percentile), we can see the link with water-repellent coating has fades that are 6 dB less than those of the link without special coating.

Snow affects microwave links differently to water, as can be seen in Figure 9. When it is dry, the impact is limited, but wet snow introduces much higher losses, and as it melts the link experiences increasing degradation
until suddenly it slides off the antenna and the received power is restored to its nominal level. 

In a worst-case scenario, the temperature drops again before the thawed snow slides off, and the wet snow
refreezes solid on the antenna. This can cause sustained periods of lower received power and if the blockage is severe it has to be cleared manually from the antenna.

Water-repellent radome coatings prevent this by protecting against water or snow clinging to the antenna's radome and building up a film (shown in the second
image in Figure 10). The potential resulting opex savings is evident from a trial in the Nordics where the amount of (cumbersome and costly) site visits to an antenna susceptible to snow and ice blockages dropped to one-third compared to the previous year.

Antennas are now, more than ever, playing a key role in getting the most out of microwave links. The diverse set of antenna options and innovations discussed in this article testify to the positive impacts that conscious choices of antennas can have on capacity, hop length, spectral efficiency, network densification and reduction of opex.

In this figure we see two parallel E-band links, one with a regular antenna and one with an antenna coated with water-repellent material. Wet snow sticks to the uncoated radome, while it slides off the coated one.

In the article titled "Opportunities with antenna innovations" featured in Ericsson's annual report, the use of a hydrophobic coating is highlighted as an effective preventive measure to reduce attenuation on radomes. NanoTech Solutions Norway, in collaboration with Ericsson and Telia Norge, provided the telecommunications equipment used in the test.


While the report does not specifically mention NanoTech Solutions Norway or Hirec by name, it focuses on future prospects for E-band and 5G technologies and does not delve into market advantages for subcontractors or manufacturers.

Source: Ericsson 2023


Figure 10: Snow sliding off the coated radome


E-bands, antennas and automation in focus

The introduction of 5G has seen E-band spread to most parts of the world, in this 10th edition of the report we see that the E-band spectrum meets the capacity needs of most deployments even after 2030. Driven by advances in microwave technology, the antenna toolbox has expanded to provide different options and opportunities. Operating costs of managing a microwave network can be significantly reduced by using network automation. To find out more about this and other interesting topics, download the Ericsson Microwave Outlook 2023. In this year's edition, we continue to provide insights and trends up to 2030 in the wireless backhaul industry.

Drone in snow and rain


UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) face significant challenges when it comes to operating in icy and adverse weather conditions. The icing on their operations and rotor blades can cause operational difficulties, limiting their effectiveness. Traditional solutions to combat icing rely on electricity, which brings its own set of challenges such as increased energy consumption and a larger digital footprint.

However, we have been researching and developing preventative measures that do not compromise the properties of the UAVs or require additional technical solutions. These measures effectively prevent the formation of ice and accumulation of liquids on critical drone components, including sensitive electronics.

Our advanced technologies, like Hirec and UED (Ultra-Ever Dry), show promising results in the drone industry. They provide proactive protection against ice formation and other adverse weather conditions. In particular, these technologies excel on moving surfaces, making them perfect for UAV applications.


Our solutions are designed to prevent the build-up of ice and snow on important infrastructure, which helps minimize the need for frequent maintenance and repairs. This is crucial because the accumulation of ice and snow on buildings, installations, and various infrastructure elements can pose significant risks to people, animals, and the environment.

For instance, power lines are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions. When these issues arise, they can affect a large number of individuals and vital organizations. That's why it's important to employ proactive solutions that can operate effectively without relying on external systems.

Efficient and reliable communication is also vital among key entities such as aircraft, boats, the military, emergency services, and rescue agencies. These proactive measures directly reduce the risks to health, minimize environmental consequences, and prevent material losses. Ultimately, they ensure the safety and well-being of communities and ecosystems.

Power line - Western Norway
Wind turbines in Norway

Wind turbines

Wind power plants are rapidly increasing in construction, especially in cold regions like mountainous areas in Norway and Northern Europe. However, operating wind turbines in these cold regions pose several challenges that can impact power production.

One of the main challenges is the formation of ice on the wind turbines. Ice accumulation can cause imbalances in the rotor blades, leading to oscillations and higher loads. In severe cases, this can even lead to the shutdown of the wind turbine. Additionally, pieces of ice can fall or be thrown from the windmill, posing a safety hazard in the vicinity.

Furthermore, icing affects the aerodynamic efficiency of wind turbines, resulting in reduced power production. These challenges highlight that wind power production in cold climates is not an easy task. It requires careful consideration and implementation of solutions to prevent ice formation and ensure optimal performance of the wind turbines.

By addressing these challenges, we can enhance the efficiency and reliability of wind power production in cold regions, contributing to sustainable energy generation while minimizing risks and maintaining the safety of the surrounding areas.

The request concerns:
bottom of page