• A MOBILE 4.3 METRE REMOTE SENSING GROUND STATION RAPID DEPLOYMENT & HIGH PERFORMANCE

      Busch, Charles; Lancaster, Phil; Payne, Edward; Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1997-10)
      In light of recent technology advances, reliable Remote Sensing Satellite data reception (from satellites such as SPOT, ERS, Landsat, Radarsat, JERS, and IRS) is becoming increasingly more practical using smaller aperture antenna systems. Performance, which up to a decade ago was reserved for antenna aperture sizes in excess of 9 metres, is now being realised with antenna systems that are half the size. In addition, there is an increasing demand for tactical mobile systems that can be moved from one location in the world to another, and which can be operational in that new location in a very short period of time. This paper describes a mobile 4.3 metre X-Band program-track Remote Sensing trailer mounted receive system that Scientific-Atlanta has manufactured to perform evaluation tests on its data reception capability from the Radarsat, SPOT and ERS satellites, in particular. A general overview of the system will be given, which will describe: a) the antenna and program track feed configuration; b) the X/Y pedestal; c) the trailer and pedestal erection mechanism; d) the receive electronics; e) antenna control unit and f) the station control computer which is used for updating ephemeris data and for system management. A description will be given of how the system is prepared for operation following transport, via C-130 cargo airplane or road, to a particular location, concentrating on the ease of set-up and the time required for deployment. It will also describe how the system is readied for transport following the mission. Finally, results of a series of trials that were undertaken in Canada will be presented. The trials concentrated on validating the projected deployment times and verifying the reception of data from Radarsat, ERS and SPOT at various elevation angles in varying weather conditions. One of the main features investigated was the performance of the system at the 67 degree elevation point in the Radarsat orbit, where some people believe there may be a drop-off in the EIRP. The trials were conducted over a period of 7 months, covering the fall, winter and spring.