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Tuesday, February 2 • 15:35 - 15:55
A New Canadian Designed Family of Precision Antenna Systems for Satellite Communications

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Sponsored by: Orbital Systems, Ltd. 

This paper describes the design of a new family of Canadian manufactured antenna systems that can be used for LEO, MEO and GEO satellite communications as well as for radio astronomy, radar systems and other applications requiring high accuracy. 

Designed and built using the latest COTS based drives and motors and controlled with an all new Az/El and RaDec software interface. High accuracy absolute encoders are used for position feedback however two loops are actually used on each axis, speed and position, for precise overall machine control. 

For the larger sizes the construction techniques used include high strength steel pedestals with highly accurate and strong azimuth and elevation bearing systems, multiple precision adjustable stretch formed aluminum panels, carbon fiber subreflectors and accurate subreflector positioning systems. Detailed FEA analysis is used as a primary design optimization tool. 

The structural designs make possible high accuracy mechanical axis intersections and highly stable reference point positions making it simpler to phase several smaller systems together to achieve much better G/T or EIRP performance than from a single dish. It is widely accepted that combining several smaller (12m) dishes are better than one large (>18m) one for critical applications because of the inherent redundancy, lower costs and improved performances now possible. RX and TX/RX active combining is possible and has already been demonstrated at X band using 3, 12m systems and using novel combining techniques. 

Target applications for these systems so far include the Owens Valley Enhanced solar array, NASA’s KaBoom planetary defense radar, the VLBI2010/VGOS geodetic VLBI system and several other projects. 

avatar for Paul Kennedy

Paul Kennedy

Vice President, Ground Systems, MDA
Paul Kennedy joined MDA in 1998. He is currently the Vice President of MDA’s Ground Systems business.  This group provides advanced ground system solutions for all types of Earth observation imaging platforms to improve the decision making and operational performance of business... Read More →


Peter Shield

President, IntertRonic Solutions

Tuesday February 2, 2016 15:35 - 15:55 EST
Provence Room