The RC1500 is a single axis inclined orbit satellite tracking antenna controller which is designed to interface to antennas powered by 36 volt DC actuators with built-in limit switches and pulse type position sensors. If the beam width of the antenna is much greater than the width of the pattern of the satellites apparent motion single axis tracking of inclined orbit satellites can be successfully implemented. The RC1500 can either be used in conjunction with a steer-able antenna whose plane of movement is aligned with the long dimension of the narrow figure eight pattern of the satellite’s apparent motion or with fixed antennas which employ a steer-able feed assembly.
- An intuitive user interface based on a 2 by 16 liquid crystal display and a 16 key keypad.
- Interfaces with pulse based position sensors – reed switch, Hall effect, or optical.
- Servo based polarization control. An optional daughter board, designated RC2KPOL, can interface with a 5 to 24 volt DC powered rotating equipped with a potentiometer for position feedback.
- Serial communications via an RS-422 port. The RC1500 uses the industry standard SA Bus protocol.
- Rack Mounting (2 rack units high), 115/230 VAC Switch Selectable Power Input
The RC1500 provides tracking for inclined orbit satellites via Step Track, Search, and Memory Track algorithms. An analog voltage (in the range of 0 to 10 volts) proportional to signal strength is required for peaking the satellite. This voltage is usually provided by a receiver or modem AGC output but can also be generated by a beacon receiver.
Setup of the tracking system is straight forward. From the controller’s CONFIG mode the user enters the following information:
- Antenna Size
- Antenna Latitude and Longitude
- Maximum Tracking Error in tenths of dB
- Elevation Constant (the number of elevation position counts per degree of antenna elevation movement)
- AGC Polarity (positive polarity implies that a stronger satellite signal produces a greater AGC voltage)
- AGC Threshold (an AGC level above the threshold implies that a satellite signal is present).
When a track is initiated on a satellite the user is prompted for: the satellite’s longitude, the satellite’s current inclination, and the satellite’s frequency band(s) – C, Ku, C/Ku, L, X, Ka.
From this information the controller is able to automatically determine the optimum tracking parameters.
- Step Track step size.
- Interval between Step Track peaking operations.
- Frequency of Memory Track antenna alignment operations.