Hiltron Experiences Growing Demand for Ground Antenna Refurbishment

  • 28 June, 2024

 


3D laser scanning of a large satellite antenna in progress.

GER: Hiltron Communications reports increasing demand for its refurbishment capabilities across the entire satellite communications sector, from high accuracy teleport antenna performance evaluation through to latest-generation motorised antenna mounts and control systems.

"Hiltron Communications has 45 years of experience in satellite systems design, preconstruction,
onsite installation and testing," comments Managing Director, Jochen Ermel. "We also have distribution agreements with many of the world’s leading manufacturers of satcom equipment plus the detailed knowledge required to combine third-party equipment into complete solutions that are reliable
and easy to operate.

"One of the main options for teleport managers is to upgrade existing antennas to higher frequencies, typically from C-band to Ku-band or Ka-band. This saves the need to buy new equipment and allows services in the lower bands to be maintained. Hiltron is fortunate in having a highly accomplished technical team with two decades or more of experience in satcom systems engineering combined with proven software authoring skill.

"When refurbishing third-party systems, we are often able to achieve better-than-new performance by replacing legacy control devices with Hiltron-developed products that allow satcom systems to be controlled with maximum safety, efficiency and versatility. Examples are our HACU antenna control unit, the HSACU4 compact variant for flyaway antennas, HMCS monitoring and control system, HDCU and compact HDCU2 de-icing control units, plus the HRMU redundancy and monitoring switch.

"Perhaps the best known of all Hiltron product developments is the HMAM motorised antenna mount.
A recent addition to this range, HMAM LEO is a complete system combining the strength, precision, smoothness of operation and internal computing resources necessary to monitor low Earth orbit satellites. Capable of accommodating parabolic antennas of up to 3 metres diameter, HMAM LEO can lock quickly and securely onto the selected LEO satellite."

A core element of Hiltron’s satcom system refurbishment service is the ability to perform high-accuracy
3D laser scanning and evaluation of teleport antennas. Based on technology developed by ESA Microwave GmbH, a Hiltron subsidiary partner, this resource is far more accurate than the commonly used photogrammetry technique and can be conducted while the antenna is actually in operation. Photogrammetry requires a large number of adhesive targets, typically several hundred, to be applied
by hand on to the reflector. The cost is quite high and the measurement resolution relatively low.
The Hiltron/ESA system allows a million surface reference points per second to be captured with
a geometric accuracy of less than 1 millimetre.

3D laser scanning measurement can be performed quickly and safely by a single technician using easily transported equipment which in many instances can be operated on a single tripod located at ground level. The resultant information is integrated into approximately 60 million points and used to create a computer-aided design model. Measured specifications and related performance parameters are delivered to the antenna operator or owner together with recommendations clarifying whether the antenna would benefit from upgrading, conversion or fitting with a multiband feed system.


Hiltron Communications is a globally active system integrator, manufacturer and distributor in the field
of satellite and wireless communication. It has decades of experience in the development and production of tracking systems for fixed and mobile antennas and hundreds of installed base around the world, for tracking LEO, GEO, MEO and inclined orbit satellites. Hiltron offers a comprehensive portfolio of services, from initial planning to the implementation of customised antenna systems, including factory acceptance tests, installation and commissioning, operator training and post-sale support. Antenna refurbishment is also offered, including service level agreements. Hiltron operates from modern purpose-built headquarters at Backnang near Stuttgart. On-site facilities include a large technical operations area with high access doors and ceiling, capable of accommodating satellite-link vehicles and their roof-mounted antennas.

hiltron.de


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Hiltron Experiences Growing Demand for Ground Antenna Refurbishment