BACKNANG, Germany—Hiltron Communications has added to its product range with the introduction of the HSACU4, a compact antenna control unit for use with flyaway antennas.
The HSACU4 is based on the same hardware and software platform as the HACU antenna control unit which is used for earth station antennas at hundreds of stations worldwide.
The HSACU4 is based on a modular architecture and can be configured with elements such as a polarization driver, an integrated beacon receiver or power supply modules for the LNBs.
The controller can also be operated and monitored via an Ethernet link and has an intuitive web interface that reduces operator training to a minimum. The antenna can also be controlled by means of a handheld unit directly connected to the HSACU4.
An auto-pointing function can be activated using the web interface which displays the coordinates of the target satellite. Auto-pointing and tracking are based on data received from a beacon receiver which can be installed remotely and accessed via an Ethernet link or integrated in the controller. The HSACU4 reads the antenna position from a GPS and adjusts the antenna's inclination using an integrated sensor. After locating the satellite, the HSACU4 progresses to fine-adjustment mode. It can also scan a predefined area and search within this area for a satellite.
The HSACU4 has eight slots which can be populated with plug-in modules to support the required functions. Among these is the HP_HCS4-NET which provides LAN/IP connectivity and full remote access via a browser-based user interface. All operating parameters can be adjusted via a local or remote PC. The UI displays all the information required to set and maintain azimuth, elevation and polarization, including current position and target position plus a database of potential accessible satellites.
Azimuth, elevation and polarization axes can be adjusted simultaneously. Also included are a sensor box with a fluxgate compass, a GPS receiver and an inclinometer for adjustment of elevation and polarization.
Tracking functions like Steptrack and TLE for NORAD data are supported and can be automatically activated after fine pointing of the antenna. Prediction tracking is included for tracking inclined-orbit satellites.
Designed for easy installation, configuration and operation, the HSACU4 occupies a 300 x 300 x 150 mm housing which mounts directly behind the antenna or on a flyaway's pedestal. Housing and connectors are weatherproofed for outdoor operation.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.