Smartly designed and ruggedly built to withstand the most extreme environments, Orbital’s antenna positioners and satellite tracking antenna systems are powerful, fast, high precision instruments suitable for Ka-, Ku-, X-, S-, and L- Band tracking applications. These elevation-over-azimuth positioners are offered in sizes 1.8 meters through 6.1 meters and provide accuracy, flexible operation, and reliability unsurpassed in the industry. Standard equipment includes; feed mounting poles, antenna tracking controller unit, and a complete maintenance tool kit with every antenna system. Standard options support AC or DC power and 100BASE-T Ethernet, optional fiber available. Multiple reflector size choices in diameters ranging from 1.5 meters through 6.1 meters, along with flexible single and multi-band RF options. Designed and built to meet the high performance and accuracy requirements of all demanding Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite tracking ground station solutions; Telemetry, Tracking and Control (TT&C), Earth Observation Satellite (EOS), Direct Broadcast (DB), RADAR, Search and Rescue Satellite (SARSAT), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles / Remotely Piloted Vehicles Tracking (UAV/RPV), trailer mounted, and other custom tracking applications.
Reception loss caused by what is sometimes called a “keyhole effect” is eliminated by the high speed of azimuth rotation in Orbitals’ two axis products. When tracking a near overhead pass the 2.4m through 3.7m products use a predictive motion with a peak azimuth velocity of 60 degrees/sec, and acceleration at up to 60 degrees/sec². The 1.8m product does these motions at up to 50 degrees/sec. These very high speeds serve to reduce loss of signals on a worst case near overhead pass. Orbital’s 5.0m and 6.1m systems utilize three axis tracking to reduce the worst case maximum tracking velocity requirement for a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to about 7 degrees/sec allowing use at any practical frequency.
Available Positioner Models with Data Sheets
The 5.0AE3BP-5m is a three axis positioner for satellite tracking applications in Ka, X, S, and L bands. A high quality, high precision, elevation-over-azimuth satellite tracking antenna system designed with a third 7º tilt axis, composite reflector, and prime focus or cassegrain feed.
The 3.0AEBP-3.7m antenna positioner is designed and built to provide high reliability while withstanding severe environmental conditions. The high-quality, high-precision, elevation-over-azimuth, satellite tracking system is suitable for operation at X-band and below.
The 3.0AEBP-3.0m antenna positioner is designed and built to provide high reliability while withstanding severe environmental conditions. The high-quality, high-precision, elevation-over-azimuth, satellite tracking system is suitable for operation at X-S and L bands.
The 2.4AEBP-3m starts with a 2.4AEBP basic mechanism that is equipped to handle a 3.0m reflector with reduced specification for maximum operating wind speed but is otherwise similar. The 2.4AEBP-3m has a number of mechanical changes to support this conversion, but the electrical and control interface is identical to the 2.4AEBP-2.4m.
The 2.4AEBP antenna positioner is designed and built to provide high reliability while withstanding severe environmental conditions. A high quality, high precision elevation-over-azimuth satellite tracking system suitable for operation at X band and below applications.
Full performance 1.8m mechanism equipped with either a 1.8m or 1.5m reflector, remote GPS antenna with cable, satellite tracking ACU and a comprehensive service toolkit. High quality elevation-over-azimuth satellite antenna system.
ACU – Antenna Control Unit
The ACU Antenna Control Unit is a flexible antenna tracking controller that manages all aspects of an antenna system equipped with the Orbital Data Bus (ODB) technology, including the antenna positioner functions, and the antenna RF payload. The ACU is located inside the electrical cabinet; integrating all antenna and positioner functions on the ODB and providing user control access through an Ethernet connection. The ACU uses multiple processors to separate real-time control of the positioner and payload from management of the user control protocols. The ACU has been designed to facilitate customization for complex multi-axis antenna system applications.
Antenna Positioner Features
- High speed, powerful servomotors provide precision positioning and rapid slewing.
- Standard reflectors are reinforced spun aluminum construction with surface accuracy to 18 GHz.
- Sealed mechanical systems permit pressurization of entire unit, including matching feeds, to eliminate damage caused by condensing humidity.
- Dynamic seals are rated to the last the life to the product and resist damage from sun, ice, ozone and blowing sand.
- Electrical systems are designed and built to meet stringent safety standards, and are CE marked.
- Variety of flexible single or multi-channel feeds available for various applications. Custom feeds are available.
- See sidebar for design and construction benefits.
Antenna Positioner Applications
With the corresponding RF components installed typical applications include:
- Telemetry, Tracking and Control (TT&C) – downlinks and uplinks in Ka, X, S, and L Bands
- EOS DB reception – X- and L- Band with ingest to produce level 0 data files
- SARSAT reception – MEO satellites in S and L Bands
- GEOScience – X Band reception tracking for typical satellites, Landsat, Worldview, Radarsat, Sentinel, Spot, and SAR Satellites
- General positioning applications – RADAR and camera tracking, etc.
*encrypted except when passing over the north and south poles