HITEC Luxembourg has announced the launch of HATS (HITEC Antenna Tracking Simulator), a simulator for ground station antenna motion as well as open- and closed-loop satellite tracking which is fully compatible with HITEC’s Antenna Control Unit (ACU).
The RF signal simulation takes into account the full RF path from the satellite to the tracking receiver to offer realistic tracking behaviour for both step-track and monopulse modes. It comprises a whole set of subsystems emulating satellite trajectories and their imperfections, the evolution of the RF signals (atmospheric attenuation and ray bending) as they travel from the satellite to the ground station, the impact of the antenna pattern and the downlink chains, the dynamical behaviour of the servo system and the antenna’s mechanical structure, the mechanical imperfections of the antenna mount, as well as the behaviour of components such as the SCU, the ACU and the tracking receiver. In addition to evaluating the antenna tracking performance, the simulator can be used as a testbed for the behavioural verification of existing or new functionalities in one of the subcomponents, such as for example the tracking algorithms in the ACU. Furthermore, it can be used for educational or training purposes or for demonstrating the underlying principles of the tracking concept or of one of the subsystems.
Tom Mathes, Manager Electrical Engineering – Space & Satellite Systems, explained the history of the simulator “Its development started as a small side-project and was born out of the need to be able to do in-house testing of the ACU functionalities during the early ACU development phases. Over the years, its functional scope has constantly increased, and it has now become an integral part of HITEC Luxembourg’s motion control product family. It is an immensely valuable and versatile tool not only for testing, but also for explaining and illustrating fundamental antenna motion and satellite tracking concepts and for training people on the ACU.”
HITEC Luxembourg has also obtained the “Made in Luxembourg” label for the HATS.