Acer P243WAID Specifications

RAPID RECONNAISSANCE AND RESPONSE (R 3)
T R A C K I N G ST A T I O N SYS T E M
By
Wade Birdwell
Christopher May
Technical documentation to support the detailed design of:
R3 Mission
Center for Space Systems
Georgia Institute of Technology
Spring 2010
Lead Designer ________________________________________ Date __________
Project Systems Engineer ________________________________Date __________
Project Manager _______________________________________ Date__________
R E V ISI O NS
Revision
Description
Date
___
Initial Release
4/29/08
___
PDR Update
7/12/09
___
Detailed Design
Update
12/17/09
___
CDR Update
03/30/10
Detailed Design
05/07/10
Update
i
Approval
GEORGIA TECH CENTER FOR SPACE SYSTEMS
ABSTRACT
Tracking Station Subsystem Technical Design Document
by Wade Birdwell
Principle Investigator:
Professor David Spencer
Georgia Tech
An overview of the design of the Tracking Station System for the R3 mission is presented in
detail. The Tracking Station subsystem provides a key component of the Ground Station system.
The main function of the Tracking Station system is tracking the R3 satellite during over flight
passes of the ground station in order to receive data and telemetry while transmitting control
command sequences. The Tracking Station will accomplish this through computer control of the
receiver, transmitter, and rotor assembly.
ii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS .................................................................................................................................................... III LIST OF FIGURES ............................................................................................................................................................ V LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................................................................. VI ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................................................................................................................................ VII NOMENCLATURE ....................................................................................................................................................... VIII INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................................. 1 CHAPTER 1: REQUIREMENTS FLOW‐DOWN .................................................................................................................. 2 CHAPTER 2: SUBSYSTEM ARCHITECTURE ...................................................................................................................... 5 Design Drivers .............................................................................................................................................................. 5 Subsystem Description and Components.................................................................................................................... 5 General Design of the Tracking Station ..................................................................................................................................... 5 Design of Downlink Subsystem .................................................................................................................................................. 7 RX Antenna ...................................................................................................................................................................... 8 Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) ............................................................................................................................................ 16 Transmission Cables ...................................................................................................................................................... 18 Receiver ......................................................................................................................................................................... 20 Design of Uplink Subsystem ..................................................................................................................................................... 21 TX Antenna .................................................................................................................................................................... 22 Transceiver .................................................................................................................................................................... 24 Digital Converter............................................................................................................................................................ 24 Transmission Cable ........................................................................................................................................................ 25 Design of Common Components ............................................................................................................................................. 26 Computer and Two Displays ......................................................................................................................................... 27 Local File Storage ........................................................................................................................................................... 28 NOVA for Windows ....................................................................................................................................................... 28 Ham Radio Deluxe ......................................................................................................................................................... 29 Computer Interface Rotor Control ................................................................................................................................ 30 Rotor Control ................................................................................................................................................................. 31 Azimuth and Elevation Rotors ....................................................................................................................................... 31 Antenna Support Structure ........................................................................................................................................... 32 Design of Other Components Not Previously Listed ............................................................................................................... 32 Universal Power Supply ................................................................................................................................................. 32 Power Supply ................................................................................................................................................................. 33 Power Strip .................................................................................................................................................................... 33 Power Booster ............................................................................................................................................................... 34 CHAPTER 3: TRAINING PROGRAM FOR THE TRACKING STATION ............................................................................... 36 Key Downlink Equipment ......................................................................................................................................................... 36 Icom IC‐R9500 ............................................................................................................................................................... 36 M2 Antenna Rotor Controller Unit RC2800PRKX2SU................................................................................................... 38 Key Uplink Equipment .............................................................................................................................................................. 38 Kenwood TS‐2000X ....................................................................................................................................................... 38 West Mountain Radio RIGblaster PRO ......................................................................................................................... 40 Key Software Programs ............................................................................................................................................................ 40 Ham Radio Deluxe ......................................................................................................................................................... 40 iii
NOVA for Windows ....................................................................................................................................................... 40 Practice Recommended ........................................................................................................................................................... 41 CHAPTER 4: OPERABILITY ............................................................................................................................................ 42 Tracking Station Setup .............................................................................................................................................. 42 Serial to USB Cable Setup ......................................................................................................................................................... 42 Ham Radio Deluxe Setup .......................................................................................................................................................... 42 NOVA for Windows Setup ........................................................................................................................................................ 45 CHAPTER 5: INTEGRATION AND TESTING .................................................................................................................... 46 Requirement Verification .......................................................................................................................................... 46 Requirement 1 .......................................................................................................................................................................... 46 Requirement 2 .......................................................................................................................................................................... 46 Requirement 2.1 ....................................................................................................................................................................... 46 Requirement 2.2 ....................................................................................................................................................................... 47 Requirement 3 .......................................................................................................................................................................... 47 Requirement Number 3.1 ........................................................................................................................................................ 47 Requirement Number 3.2 ........................................................................................................................................................ 47 Functional Tests ......................................................................................................................................................... 48 1. Rotor/Dish Control ............................................................................................................................................................... 48 2. Receiver Operation ............................................................................................................................................................... 49 3. Transmitter Operation ......................................................................................................................................................... 49 4. Computer Software Configuration ....................................................................................................................................... 50 Intragrated Tests ....................................................................................................................................................... 51 End‐To‐End Test........................................................................................................................................................................ 51 CHAPTER 6: RISK AREAS AND OPEN ITEMS ................................................................................................................. 52 Risk Areas ................................................................................................................................................................... 52 Open Items ................................................................................................................................................................. 52 APPENDIX LIST ............................................................................................................................................................. 53 Appendix A: Amateur Radio Relay League Band Plans for 12 Centimeters and 70 Centimeters .......................................... 53 Appendix B: Dimensions for Improved Septum with Dual Mode Horn, by Dmitry Dmitriev, RA3AQ. .................................. 55 Appendix C: 2405 MHz Septum Antenna Design Layout. ....................................................................................................... 56 Appendix D: DEM 13ULNA Specifications. ............................................................................................................................... 57 Appendix E: Brief Specifications for the Icom IC‐R9500. ......................................................................................................... 59 Appendix F: Brief Specifications for the Kenwood TS‐2000X. ................................................................................................. 60 Appendix G: Contact Information for various vendors. .......................................................................................................... 61 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................................................................. 62 iv
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: Block Diagram of Tracking Station Components ................................................... 6 Figure 2: Highlighted Selection of Key Downlink Subsystem Components......................... 7 Figure 3: Mesh Dish Reflector cross section........................................................................... 8 Figure 4: Best and Worst Case Receive Gain for a 10 foot diameter dish. .......................... 10 Figure 5: Best and Worst Case Receive Gain for a 10 foot diameter dish in Amateur S-band. 11 Figure 6: Pictures of square septum antenna feed, courtesy Zdenek Samek, OK1DFC. .... 12 Figure 7: Comparison of key dimensions for a septum antenna feed................................... 14 Figure 8: Septum antenna feed transformer, picture courtesy Dmitry Dmitriev, RA3AQ.. 14 Figure 9: Dimensions for a 2405 MHz septum antenna feed. .............................................. 15 Figure 10: Completed septum antenna feed, pictures courtesy Zdenek Samek, OK1DFC. 16 Figure 11: Interior and Exterior pictures of the Ultra Low Noise Amplifier, courtesy Down East
Microwave. ................................................................................................................ 17 Figure 12: Times Microwave Systems company specifications for LMR-600 UltraFlex. .. 18 Figure 13: Graph of the corrected attenuation values for LMR-600 UltraFlex. .................. 19 Figure 14: Front and Rear view of the Icom IC-R9500 Receiver. ....................................... 20 Figure 15: Highlighted Selection of Key Uplink Subsystem Components.......................... 21 Figure 16: Diagram of Yagi Antenna Boom Arm ................................................................ 22 Figure 17: Front and Rear view of the Kenwood TS-2000X Transceiver. .......................... 24 Figure 18: General diagram of RIGblaster hookup connections for a radio station ............ 25 Figure 19: Highlighted Selection of Key Tracking Station Main Computer Components.. 26 Figure 20: Highlighted Selection of Key Rotor Subsystem and Antenna Support Structure
Components ............................................................................................................... 30 Figure 21: Picture of the rotor control unit RC2800PRKX2SU ........................................... 31 Figure 22: Pictures of the pre-existing structure and the mounting of the rotor system. ..... 32 Figure 23: Picture of the Astron RM-50M power supply ..................................................... 33 Figure 24: Picture of the West Mountain Radio RIGrunner 4010S ..................................... 34 Figure 25: Picture of the TGE Super Booster ....................................................................... 34 Figure 26: Block Diagram of Tracking Station Components with specific part identified . 35 Figure 27: Ham Radio Deluxe Preset Preferences ................................................................ 43 Figure 28: Kepler Data selection tab in Ham Radio Deluxe ................................................ 44 Figure 29: Tracking Station latitude, longitude, and height input for location option......... 45 v
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Requirements Flow Down ......................................................................................... 2 Table 2: Segment of ARRL 12 Centimeter Band Plan ......................................................... 13 Table 3: DEM 13ULNA Specifications. ............................................................................... 17 Table 4: List of Parts for the Tracking Station Main Computer ........................................... 27 Table 5: Communication Port (COM #) Allocation ............................................................. 42 vi
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors wish to express sincere appreciation to Professor David Spencer (Principle
Investigator), for his assistance in the preparation of this design and documentation. Special
thanks also to the entire R3 design team, whose tireless diligence and cooperative spirit was vital
during the early programming phase of this undertaking. The authors would also like to thank the
members of the GT Aerospace Shop, especially Scott Moseley, for their support and effort in the
fabrication and mounting of parts and equipment for the ground station, along with Thomas
Westbrook, who provided support and materials to make the tracking station possible. The team
at M2 Antenna Inc. consisting of Jeremy Scales and Wyatt Lyzenga also deserve credit for their
efforts in support of troubleshooting the ground station equipment and providing advice. Finally,
Dr. Greg Durgin and Dr. Paul Steffes of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) School
deserve a specially thank you for their input and feedback on various aspects of the ground station
design.
vii
NOMENCLATURE
ARRL
AM
AZ or Az
CW
DEM
EL or El
FCC
FM
FSK
FSK
GT
HDD
HRO
HF
ID
IF
LNA
LSB
LSK
MOC
OD
PBT
PSK
RAID
RST
RX
SSB
TLE
TNC
TX
UHF
ULNA
UPS
USB
VHF
WFM
Amateur Radio Relay League
Amplitude Modulation
Azimuth
Continuous Wave
Down East Microwave
Elevation
Federal Communications Commission
Frequency Modulation
Frequency Shift Keying
Frequency Shift Keying
Georgia Institute of Technology
Hard Disk Drive
Ham Radio Outlet
High Frequency
Inner Diameter
Intermediate Frequency
Low Noise Amplifier
Lower Side Band
Limit Switch Kit
Mission Operations Center
Outer Diameter
Pass Band Tuning
Phase Shift Keying
Redundant Array of Independent Disks
Readability, Strength, Tone
Receive or receiver
Single Side Band
Two Line Element
Terminal Node Controller
Transmit or transmitter
Ultra High Frequency
Ultra Low Noise Amplifier
Universal Power Supply
Upper Side Band
Very High Frequency
Wide Frequency Modulation
viii
INTRODUCTION
The R3 satellite project began with eight students attending Georgia Institute of Technology in
January 2009. The goal of the R3 project is to win a secondary payload launch opportunity
through the Air Force Research Laboratory’s sixth University Nanosat Program competition
(UNP-6). The mission objectives are to demonstrate same-pass tasking and innovative on-board
processing algorithms by detecting a thermal feature of known signature, calculating its
coordinates, and down linking them to the Georgia Tech Ground Station in the same pass; and to
correlate the radiation environment in space with its effect on a non-radiation-hardened uncooled
microbolometer. As a secondary payload, the satellite must be robust to successfully complete its
mission in any orbit from 500-1000 km and at any inclination. It must also meet all UNP-6
program constraints, including staying within a size and mass envelope of 50cm x 50cm x 60cm
and 50kg.
The R3 satellite project must have a Ground Station system in order to downlink, store, and
process the data and telemetry acquired during the satellite’s mission while providing the
capability to test and send command sequences to the satellite in order to continue its mission.
The Tracking Station system is a key component of the Ground Station system and is responsible
for the actual tracking of the R3 satellite during the satellite’s over flight passes of the ground station while providing the means to receive data and telemetry while transmitting command
sequences. This will be accomplished through computer control of the receiver, transmitter, and
rotor assembly.
1
CHAPTER 1: REQUIREMENTS FLOW-DOWN
The requirements for the Tracking Station flow down directly from the mission objectives of R3
through requirements for Mission Operations Systems and Mission Control. The requirements
flow down presented in the table below detail the Mission Operations System, Mission Control,
and then finally the Tracking Station requirements.
Table 1: Requirements Flow Down
Mission Operations System (MOS) Source Verification Status Method MOS‐1 MOS shall be capable of full‐duplex communications with the R3 satellite MOS shall have the capability to receive all downlinked science data and R3 satellite telemetry on scheduled passes. MOS shall provide capability to control R3 satellite with uplinked commands during all phases of development and operations MOS shall provide facilities, hardware, and software for development of testbed and support final integration test plan MOS shall be capable of archiving all raw data for duration of primary mission [6 months] and provide support for ground processing and dissemination of science data MOS shall provide commanding and telemetry capturing capability for mission planning and data processing MOS shall provide the science team with facilities for archiving and processing science data MOS shall provide Public Outreach in the form of workshops and a website Single point failure in MOS shall not compromise ability to meet full mission success criteria MOS shall develop mission operations system fault tree, maintain this fault tree throughout operations MOS shall develop and execute a plan to generate command sequence products, validate MOS ability to command during testing and operations phases, and to train flight operations personnel MO‐3 Testing Designed MO‐3, MSC‐5, SAT‐11 MO‐3 Analysis, Testing Designed Analysis, Testing In Progress SAT‐1 Testing In Progress MD‐1 Testing Designed MOS‐3 In Progress MOS‐3 Inspection Designed MO‐4 Inspection In Progress MSC‐8 Analysis In Progress MOS‐5 Inspection In Progress MOS‐1.2, MOS‐2 Inspection In Progress MOS‐1.1 MOS‐1.2 MOS‐2 MOS‐3 MOS‐3.1 MOS‐3.2 MOS‐4 MOS‐5 MOS‐5.1 MOS‐6 2
MOS‐6.1 This plan shall include capability to command protoflight hardware during test phase of project This plan shall include an Operations Test procedure that verifies commanding ability of all sequence products on satellite systems This plan shall include an End to End Test that validates compatibility of tracking station with flight system This plan shall provide the capability to determine, develop, and verify contingency plans to mitigate mission risk Mission Control MOS‐6 Testing In Progress MOS‐6 Testing In Progress MOS‐6 Testing In Progress MOS‐
6,MOS‐
5.1 Source Testing In Progress SAT‐11 Testing In Progress MC‐1 Analysis In Progress MC‐1 Analysis In Progress COM‐2 Analysis In Progress MOS‐1.2 Inspection In Progress MC‐3 Analysis In Progress MC‐3.1 Analysis In Progress MC‐3 Analysis In Progress MC‐3 Testing In Progress MOS‐1 Testing In Progress MC‐5 MC shall provide capability to receive and monitor engineering telemetry and science data in real time during testing and flight operations. MC shall be able to acquire satellite telemetry within <x‐minutes> after end of inhibited phase MC shall be able to acquire baseline satellite telemetry within <x‐minutes> after first acquisition of an overpass, and within <y‐minutes> for each subsequent acquisition during that pass MC shall have the capability to support variable downlink rates between each overpass MC will provide command and control for all phases of the R3 satellite development and operations. MC shall be capable of generating, validating, and uplinking R3 satellite commands and sequences for all mission activities during flight operations. MC shall verify all command sequence products for resource utilization, constraints, and contingencies before uplink to satellite MC shall be plan and execute an uplink checkout test after end of inhibited phase MC shall shall be able to process, store, and uplink <data volume per time period> MC shall provide uplink encoding, downlink decoding, and delivery of data for necessary operational activities. MC shall provide satellite tracking and navigation MOS‐1 Testing In Progress Tracking Station Source Verification Status Method TRAC‐1 All communication shall abide by ITU and FCC NUG regulations. Georgia Tech shall obtain the necessary spectrum licenses for operating its space segment radio communication equipment prior to FCR. Ground transceivers and antennas shall operate in the MOS‐1 UHF and S‐Band frequencies. MOS‐6.2 MOS‐6.3 MOS‐6.4 MC‐1 MC‐1.1 MC‐1.3 MC‐2 MC‐3 MC‐3.1 MC‐3.2 MC‐3.3 MC‐3.4 MC‐4 TRAC‐2 3
Verification Status Method Inspection In Progress Testing Designed TRAC‐2.1 TRAC‐2.2 TRAC‐3 TRAC‐3.1 TRAC‐3.2 The Ground Receiving antenna shall operate in the amateur S‐band for downlink The Ground Transmitting antenna shall operate in the amateur UHF band for uplink The Tracking Station shall use computer controlled rotors to direct the antenna system. The Control Computer will control the automated tracking functions for the antenna system. A designated computer in the Mission Control Room shall be used to pass command signals to the antenna rotor system. 4
MOS‐1.1 Analysis Designed MOS‐1.2 Analysis Designed MC‐5 Testing Designed TRAC‐3 Testing Designed TRAC‐3 Testing Designed CHAPTER 2: SUBSYSTEM ARCHITECTURE
DESIGN DRIVERS
The design drivers for the Tracking Station consisted of knowing that the R3 satellite would
require the downlink of large amounts of data which requires operation of ultra high (UHF, 300
MHz to 3,000 MHz) radio frequencies, specifically directed to be in the amateur S-band portion of
the radio frequency spectrum. Also knowing that the satellite is fairly small and will have limited
power abilities would indicate that the satellite would only be able to transmit low wattage power
to send data and telemetry. This would require a large amount of gain on the receiving side in
order to successfully capture all the transmitted data and telemetry. So the Principle Investigator
directed that the receiving antenna assembly would use a 10 foot diameter dish to provide
sufficient gain on the transmitted signal. Finally, the Ground Station system was budgeted for
$40,000, which included all items required for the Tracking Station in addition to equipment
required for the Ground Data System, while maintaining a high performance yet relatively low
cost means to communicate with the satellite.
SUBSYSTEM DESCRIPTION AND COMPONENTS
General Design of the T racking Station
The Tracking Station provides two main functions for the R3 mission, the downlink and uplink of
signals between the mission operation center and the satellite. The sections below provide an
explanation of the design of the downlink and uplink subsystems. In support of these two
subsystems, there are some common components that both systems use, such as Tracking Station
Main Computer and the rotors. An explanation of the design of the common components follows
after the downlink and uplink subsystem section. Finally, common components that provide
general functionality to all the other system components are given explanation. These common
components generally deal with electrical power and its distribution among the other components.
5
The figure below is the overall block diagram for the Tracking Station showing the flow of data
between components, along with physical connections and which type of power system the
components use.
Figure 1: Block Diagram of Tracking Station Components
6
Design of Downlink Subsystem
Key components to the functioning of the downlink subsystem are highlighted in red boxes in the
figure below. Explanation and key parameters of these components are detailed in the following
section.
Figure 2: Highlighted Selection of Key Downlink Subsystem Components
Key Components for the Downlink System are the RX Antenna, the LNA, the Transmission
Cables (dashed line between the LNA and receiver), and the Receiver.
7
K ey Components for the Downlink Subsystem
RX A N TE NN A
The main receive antenna for the tracking station is composed of two key components: 1. the
mesh dish reflector, and 2. the septum antenna feed. Design and explanation of these two
components are detailed below respectively.
1. Mesh Dish Reflector. The mesh dish reflector was directed to be 10 foot in diameter (3.048
meter). M2 Antennas Incorporated (www.m2inc.com) provided the 10 foot mesh dish reflector,
which has an f/D ratio of 0.38. The f/D ratio is the focal distance of the dish (f), divided by the
diameter (D). The mesh dish reflector is 3.048m in diameter, with an f/D ratio of 0.38, which
results in a focal distance of 1.158m. This measure indicates where to place the septum antenna
feed for optimum signal reception from the mesh dish reflector.
0.38 =


=
⇒ 0.38 ∙ 3.048  = 1.158 
 3.048
The figure below visually shows a cross section of the dish parameters.
Figure 3: Mesh Dish Reflector cross section.
8
An accepted determination for the gain of a parabolic type reflector is:
=
4 ∙  ∙ 
2
Where
G: is gain, typically represented in decibel (dB) format
π: is Pi, 3.14159265…
Ae: is Effective Aperture
λ: is wavelength
The translation of the physical area of the dish antenna to its electromagnetic area is through
Effective Aperture. Effective Aperture is calculated as:
 =  ∙ 
Where:
Ae: is Effective Aperture
ηA: is Aperture Efficiency (Typically accepted range is 0.5 to 0.75, or 50% to 75%)
Ar: is physical aperture area
The physical aperture area for the Receiving dish is:
 =  ∙  2 =  ∙ (1.524)2 ≅ 7.2962
This results in an Effective Aperture range for 50% to 75% of:
50% = 0.5 ∙  = 0.5 ∙ 7.2962 ≅ 3.6482
9
75% = 0.75 ∙  = 0.75 ∙ 7.2962 ≅ 5.4722
Using these Effective Aperture values, the expected Gain for the Receiving dish in decibels is
shown in the graph below:
Figure 4: Best and Worst Case Receive Gain for a 10 foot diameter dish.
The septum antenna is designed to operate at 2405 MHz frequency, or 0.1246 m wavelength,
therefore the expected gain from the mesh dish for the septum antenna when based on the range of
Effective Aperture is reasonably expected to be between:
Worst Case: GAe50% = 34.69 dB
Best Case: GAe75% = 36.46 dB
10
The graph below shows the expected best and worst case gain for a 10 foot diameter mesh dish
reflector operating in the Amateur radio S-band, which is where the septum antenna is designed to
operate, specifically at 2405 MHz.
Figure 5: Best and Worst Case Receive Gain for a 10 foot diameter dish in Amateur S-band.
It is interesting to note that even if the Effective Aperture was only 16.95%, this would still result
in a gain of 30 dB at 2.405 GHz. So it is reasonable to assume that the mesh dish reflector will
provide at a minimum of 30 dB of gain for receiving signals from satellites in the amateur S-band
region of the spectrum.
2. Septum Antenna Feed. The septum antenna feed is based on an Amateur radio design and built
by the GT Aerospace Shop. The tracking station RX antenna uses a square septum antenna which
is based on a design originally developed by Chen and Tsandoulas, then later modified for
amateur radio applications by Czech amateur radio operator Zdenek Samek, OK1DFC, and then
11
improved by Russian amateur radio operator Dmitry Dmitriev, RA3AQ. The septum antenna
offers the ability to access both left hand and right hand circular polarized (LHCP, RHCP)
electromagnetic radiation based on which side of the septum transformer plate the feed element is
positioned, which is connected to a female N-type four hole flange connector. The septum
antenna can be used for either receiving or transmitting or both, in either left or right hand circular
polarization, however, for the tracking station it is used exclusively for receiving circular
polarized electromagnetic radiation.
Figure 6: Pictures of square septum antenna feed, courtesy Zdenek Samek, OK1DFC.
The selection of 2405 MHz as the operating frequency for the septum feed is based on the
Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) recommended band plan for the 2390 – 2450 MHz
spectrum and expert opinion given by Dr. Paul G. Steffes, GT School of Electrical and Computer
Engineering. This is a frequency commonly used among amateur satellite developers, and follows
common practices for band plan compliance.
12
An operating frequency of 2405 MHz is in the Satellite high-rate data segment of the band plan,
and is also the middle frequency value for Satellite operations, as noted in the table below. See
Appendix A for the entire ARRL Band Plan for 2300 – 2310 and 2390 – 2450 MHz (12
Centimeters).
Table 2: Segment of ARRL 12 Centimeter Band Plan
2400.0 - 2403.0 MHz
Satellite
2403.0 - 2408.0 MHz
Satellite high-rate data
2408.0 - 2410.0 MHz
Satellite
Zdenek provides a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (available on www.ok1dfc.com) for
calculating the key dimensions required for construction of the septum antenna. The spreadsheet
linearly scales the dimensions for the septum feed based on the input operating frequency. Given
that the dimensions scale with frequency, the spreadsheet was altered to provide the same results
as the dimensions developed by Dmitry for his improved septum antenna operating at 2320 MHz
(see Appendix B for his septum antenna dimensions) by changing the various fraction values of
lambda. The only non uniform change made was to overall length, which is based on Dmitry’s HL0 value combined with the HL1, which are 215mm + 32.2mm = 247.2mm for overall length of
the septum antenna. The longer the septum antenna length is the more narrow a beam it creates,
which results in higher gain. However, for our purposes, we are limited in total overall length of
about 300mm due to the shape of the weather cap on the mesh dish reflector cover in order to fit
all the required components underneath the weather cap. Also, keeping the overall length of the
septum antenna short, the operating bandwidth of the antenna is larger, allowing for more received
frequencies from various other satellites. The trade off for a shorter septum antenna is a wider
beam angle, which translates to some loss of gain, and lower side lobe signal rejection, which
results in some received noise. However, the loss of gain due to septum antenna length is
negligible compared to the gain that the mesh dish reflector provides, and the noise value received
13
due to lower side lobe rejection is below the nominal level of ambient noise already received by
the antenna system, so it does not contribute any significant noise to the overall system noise.
Shown below is a side by side comparison for the recommended key dimensions for Zdenek and
Dmitry’s septum antennas operating at 2320 MHz. This shows the difference in lambda values for comparison and before using the altered spreadsheet results for the recommended key
dimensions for an operating frequency of 2405 MHz.
Figure 7: Comparison of key dimensions for a septum antenna feed.
Below is the reference picture for the dimensions specified in the above comparison.
Figure 8: Septum antenna feed transformer, picture courtesy Dmitry Dmitriev, RA3AQ.
14
Based on the updated and altered spreadsheet, the dimensions for a septum antenna operating at
2405 MHz are shown in the figure below (see Appendix C for the detailed septum antenna design
layout).
Figure 9: Dimensions for a 2405 MHz septum antenna feed.
The 2405 MHz septum antenna is constructed from aluminum alloy, specifically Al 6061
aluminum alloy, that is 0.04 inches thick (approximately 1.016mm).
This is close to the
recommended thickness of 0.998mm specified by the spreadsheet and as shown in the figure
above. Note that the thickness of the material used for the septum is not a critical parameter
according to Zdenek.
15
The septum antenna has two feed elements which are constructed from female N-type four hole
flange connectors with a copper probe soldered to the inner exposed conducting element. The
flange connectors are bolted, one to each half of the septum antenna, through mounting plates
which are tack welded to the exterior left and right side components of the septum antenna feed,
as shown in the picture below.
Figure 10: Completed septum antenna feed, pictures courtesy Zdenek Samek, OK1DFC.
The probes which are soldered to the female N-type 4 hole flange inner exposed conducting
elements are made of copper metal rods which are approximately 6mm in diameter (OD) by
23.2mm long, as specified by the spreadsheet, and show in the figure above.
L O W N O IS E A M P LI F IE R (LNA)
The low noise amplifier is an electronic amplifier used to amplify weak signals captured by an
antenna. The tracking station RX antenna uses an ultra low noise amplifier (ULNA) designed for
use in the amateur S-band.
The ULNA was developed and manufactured by Down East
Microwave (www.downeastmicrowave.com) and the complete ULNA specifications can be found
in Appendix D: DEM 13ULNA Specifications.
16
The ULNA operates in a frequency range of 2300 to 2450 MHz, which covers the entire portion
of the Amateur S-band, and specifically the operating frequency of the septum antenna feed at
2405 MHz. The ULNA has the specifications as listed in the table below.
Table 3: DEM 13ULNA Specifications.
Figure 11: Interior and Exterior pictures of the Ultra Low Noise Amplifier, courtesy Down East Microwave.
The LNA requires a direct current power source which comes from the West Mountain Radio
4010S power strip. The power strip will provide 12 to 13.8 volts of direct current for the LNA to
operate, therefore allowing the gain to reach its minimum 16 dB of gain. Refer to the user’s
manual for proper power hookup connection to the LNA.
17
T R A NS M IS S IO N C AB LES
The transmission cables carry the signal received by the RX antenna, through the LNA, to the
Icom IC-R9500 receiver. They were fabricated by the company Cable X-perts, and they are
available online at www.cablexperts.com.
There are two cables, one for each side of the septum antenna feed, which are connected through
the LNAs and carry the signal from the LNA to an antenna switch which then routes the signal to
the receiver. The two position antenna switch allows for selection and switching between either
left or right side of the septum antenna feed, which allows for reception of either left or right hand
circular polarization. The two position antenna switch is a MFJ Enterprises MFJ-2702N, and is
capable of handling signals up to 3GHz in frequency, and a power capability rating of 2kW. The
cables are constructed of 119 feet of LMR-600 UltraFlex (also known as Cinta CNT-600) with
male N-type connectors on both ends. The LMR cables are UV resistant thermoplastic elastomer
polyethylene jacketed cable designed for 20 years of outdoor service use.
The LMR-600 UltraFlex experiences signal loss, or attenuation, according to the chart below.
Figure 12: Times Microwave Systems company specifications for LMR-600 UltraFlex.
18
Based on the data provided by Times Microwave Systems, the graph below shows the corrected
values for attenuation to include the +15% attenuation factor for UltraFlex cable.
LMR-600 UltraFlex Attenuation
9
8
Attenuation (dB/100ft)
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000
3500
4000
4500
5000
5500
6000
Frequency (MHz)
LMR-600 UF
Best Fit for LMR-600 UF
Figure 13: Graph of the corrected attenuation values for LMR-600 UltraFlex.
The red line depicts the corrected attenuation factor, while the black dashed line depicts the Best
Fit line with an equation of:
 = 0.0772 ∙  0.5351
The Best Fit line has a coefficient of determination of R2 = 0.9993, which means the Best Fit line
approximates the data set very well and it is suitable to use the Best Fit equation to approximate
other values between the data set points.
19
Based on being able to reasonably use the Best Fit equation and knowing the operating frequency
of the septum antenna is designed for 2405 MHz, it is possible to approximate the attenuation for
the cable to be 4.98 dB per 100 feet of cable. Since the cables are 119 feet long each, this
translates in to an overall total cable attenuation of approximately 5.92 dB for each cable.
R EC E IVE R
The receiver is an Icom IC-R9500 which was developed for professional communications use
with laboratory grade functions incorporated in the design. It provides frequency coverage of
0.005 to 3335 MHz and a high performance spectrum scope. It was purchased through Ham
Radio Outlet, which is available online at www.hamradio.com.
For a brief overview of
specifications for the receiver see Appendix E: Brief Specifications for the Icom IC-R9500 and for
more in-depth detail on the specifications refer to the user manual. This receiver was selected
because of the frequency range of coverage in addition to the spectrum scope view, along with
several of the lab grade features offered with the model.
Figure 14: Front and Rear view of the Icom IC-R9500 Receiver.
20
Design of Uplink Subsystem
Key components to the functioning of the uplink subsystem are highlighted in red boxes in the
figure below. Explanation and key parameters of these components are detailed in the following
section.
Figure 15: Highlighted Selection of Key Uplink Subsystem Components
Key Components for the Uplink System are the TX Antenna, the Transceiver, the Transmission
Cables, and the Transceiver, and Digital Converter.
21
TX A N TE N NA
The main transmitting antenna for the tracking station is designed to operate in the UHF range,
specifically between 432 and 440 MHz. It is circularly polarized yagi antenna with a switching
option to allow for selection between left and right hand circular polarization, and with some
modification can be made to transmit with either vertical or horizontal polarization. The antenna
was designed and manufactured by M2 Antennas Incorporated (www.m2inc.com), who also
supplied the receiving dish reflector and rotor system, and was purchased through them. The
antenna provides 14.15 dB of gain while being able to handle 600 watt power loads for
transmitting and the whole antenna with the switching kit weights a mere 7 lbs. In order for the
antenna to operate at the specified 14.15 dB of gain, it cannot be placed to closely to the mesh dish
reflector, or the antenna beam patterns will interfere with each other, degrading performance of
the entire antenna cluster. However, the yagi antenna needs to be mounted as close as possible to
the mesh dish reflector in order to reduce the overall amount of torque placed on the rotors during
wind loading, which the adjustment of the counter balance weights cannot correct.
The
manufacture recommends a stacking distance of 51 inches, which is equivalent to 4.25 feet, and
the radius of the mesh dish reflector is 5 feet, so a boom arm of 9.25 feet or 111 inches is need to
ensure the antenna beam patterns do not interfere.
Figure 16: Diagram of Yagi Antenna Boom Arm
All elements of the Boom Arm assembly are constructed from aluminum 6061 material, either in
1 inch tubing or blocks which are milled to specification. The main boom arms are 111 inches in
length of 1 inch aluminum tubing and are angled from the counter balance assembly to the
22
antenna mounting plate. The main boom arms each have angled L brackets welded to the ends
with a vertical hole drilled through them and are mounted to the counter balance assembly by the
same bolts that secure the mesh dish reflector to the counter balance assembly. The main boom
arms terminate together at an angle with the antenna mounting plate. The antenna mounting plate,
which is supplied in the yagi antenna construction materials from M2 Antennas, is welded
vertically perpendicular to the angled main boom arms, with additional triangle flanges welded
between the two for more support. The boom arm support is constructed of two sections of 1 inch
aluminum tubing with a threaded section milled or inserted into each end between the two
sections. Between these sections will go a long headless bolt or rod with matching thread count
and pitch to the aluminum tubing. This rod will serve to adjust the length of the boom arm
support in order to keep the main boom arms and antenna mounting plate parallel to the counter
balance assembly. The boom are support section terminating at the antenna mounting plate will
have a hinged joint welded to the antenna mount plate which will allow for adjustment of the
boom arm support. The other section of the boom arm support will terminate on the boom
support collar, which is located on the counter balance weight support arm. The boom support
collar is placed between the counter balance weights and the locking collar. The boom support
collar is similar in dimensions to the counter balance locking collar which secures the counter
balance weights to the counter balance arm. Similar to the antenna mount plate boom arm support
hinge, the boom support collar has a hinged joint welded to it in order to allow for the adjustment
of the boom arm support sections thought the adjustment rod between the boom arm support
sections. With the addition of the yagi antenna to one side of the antenna cluster, the overall
weight distribution on the rotor gears is un-balanced. Based on approximately 7 pounds of
antenna at about 9.25 feet distance, this is 64.74 foot pounds of torque that needs to be balanced
on the opposite side of the counter balance assembly. Assuming a counter balance weight arm is
about 1.5 foot long, it would require transferring approximately 40 pounds of counter balance
weights from the yagi antenna side to the opposite counter balance weight arm in order to offset
the torque difference. Once this is complete, it will require two operators to confirm that the
balance of weights is correct and the rotor motors and gears are not over stressed. This is done by
one operator using the rotor control box to slew the antenna cluster back and forth as the other
23
operator is listening to the rotor motor and gear housing boxes for and sounds of stress or strain.
If sounds are heard other than typical motor operation, further balancing of the counter balance
weights is required.
T R A NS C E IV ER
The transceiver is a Kenwood TS-2000X and is a common amateur radio for base station
operations. It has a built-in TNC and several output jacks for the various amateur radio bands and
provides transmit and receive capabilities for the HF, VHF, UHF, and L-bands. It was purchased
through Ham Radio Outlet, which is available online at www.hamradio.com.
For a brief
overview of specifications of the transceiver see Appendix F: Brief Specifications for the
Kenwood TS-2000X, and for more in-depth detail on the specifications refer to the user manual.
This model was selected because it offered access to the L-band frequencies in additional to all the
typical amateur HF, VHF, and UHF frequencies. It also has a built in TNC for packet data.
Figure 17: Front and Rear view of the Kenwood TS-2000X Transceiver.
D IG ITA L C O NV ER TER
The digital convert is the RIGblaster PRO, which was designed, developed, and manufactured by
West Mountain Radio (www.westmountainradio.com). The RIGblaster PRO provides an easy
way to connect the Transceiver to the Tracking Station Main Computer through the onboard
sound card and allows for the operation of various amateur modes of transmission, such as
Frequency Shift Keying and Phase Shift Keying. It must be configured specifically for Frequency
Shift Keying operation according to the user’s manual instructions. The figure below gives a
general idea of the setup of the RIGblaster PRO; however for setup with the Tracking Station, the
details are in the user’s manual.
24
Figure 18: General diagram of RIGblaster hookup connections for a radio station
T R A NS M IS S IO N C AB LE
The transmission cable between the transceiver and transmitting yagi antenna, if constructed of
LMR-600 similar to the receiving transmission cables but with 129 foot length to account for the
additional boom arm length, would result in a loss of 2.57 dB based on the Best Fit line developed
under the Transmission Cable in the Downlink section. This is calculated at the upper limit of the
specified frequency range for the yagi antenna, which is 440 MHz.
The cable would be
constructed of 128 feet of LRM-600 UltraFlex (also known as Cinta CNT-600) with a male Ntype connector on one end, to interface with the yagi antenna, and the other end should have an
UHF connector (also known as a PL-259 connector) to interface with the Kenwood transceiver.
The LMR cable is UV resistant thermoplastic elastomer polyethylene jacketed cable designed for
25
20 years of outdoor service use. As with the transmission cables for the receiver, this cable should
be procured through the company Cable X-perts, available online at www.cablexperts.com.
Design of Common Components
Common components to the functioning of the Tracking Station system can be divided into two
subsystems. 1. The Tracking Station Main Computer and control software programs. 2. Rotor
Subsystem and the Antenna Support Structure. Explanation of these two subsystems and their
respective components are detailed in the following sections.
1. T he T racking Station Main Computer
Figure 19: Highlighted Selection of Key Tracking Station Main Computer Components
26
Key Components for the Tracking Station Main computer are the Computer and two displays,
Local File Storage, NOVA for Windows, and Ham Radio Deluxe.
C O M P U TE R A ND T WO D IS P LA YS
This is the Tracking Station Main Computer. It was student conceived and student built with
commercial off the shelf parts and able to handle multiple tasks at one time with constant
operation for long periods of time while offering safe storage of files though redundant drives in
RAID 1 format. The table below lists the components used to build the computer and the parts
were purchased from Newegg, which is available online at www.newegg.com.
Table 4: List of Parts for the Tracking Station Main Computer
Part
Power
Supply
M anufacture
Cooler Master
Motherboard
ASUS
CPU
Intel
CPU Cooler
Zalman
RAM
Kingston
Main Drive
WD
Operating
System
Microsoft
Model
UCP RS700-AAAAA3 700W
ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel 3-Way SLI
& Quad-GPU CrossFireX Support
Intel Core i7 940 Nehalem 2.93GHz 4 x 256KB L2
Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W
ZALMAN CNPS9900LED 120mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
Kingston HyperX 3GB (3 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3
SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Triple Channel Kit
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB
10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3 for System
Builders
27
Total
QTY
Price
1
$189.00
$189.00
1
$234.00
$234.00
1
$559.99
$559.99
1
$74.99
$74.99
1
$169.99
$169.99
2
$229.99
$459.98
1
$139.99
$139.99
Price
Dual Boot
Microsoft
GPU
Sapphire
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit for
System Builders
1
$179.99
$179.99
1
$259.99
$259.99
1
$159.99
$159.99
1
$26.99
$26.99
2
$259.99
$519.98
2
$14.99
$29.98
SAPPHIRE 100260SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 1GB 512bit (2 x 256-bit) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP
Video Card
Case
Antec
Disk Drive
Samsung
Monitor
Acer
Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
Computer Case
SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe
Black SATA Model SH-S223Q
Acer P243WAid Black-Silver 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI
Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP Support 400
cd/m2 3000:1 ACM
Case Fans
Sony
Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E 120mm Case Fan
Total
$3,004.86
L O C A L F I LE S TOR A G E
This aspect of the key components is accomplished within the Tracking Station Main Computer
by the two Western Digital VelociRaptor hard disk drives (HDD). These two drives are arrayed
in a RAID 1 format. The RAID 1 format is known as a Mirrored set without parity, and provides
fault tolerance from disk errors and failure. There is increased read performance when using a
multi-threaded operating system that supports split seeks, as well as a very small performance
reduction when writing.
The array continues to operate so long as at least one drive is
functioning. This allows for the failure of one of the drives while still enabling the tracking
station to operate until the bad drive is replaced.
NOVA FOR W IN DO W S
This is a software program that enables the Tracking Station Main Computer to command the
rotor subsystem in order to track selected satellites from the database which can down load the
28
TLEs for various selected satellites. This is a product developed by amateur radio operators and is
available commercially for purchase from www.nlsa.com, and was purchased through the website.
The Tracking Station currently uses a purchased and registered copy of the NOVA for Windows,
and the registration key for this product is NLD-7180427 which enables all the functions while it
removes the demonstration limited copy of the program. The setup and operation of this program
is further explained in the Operability Chapter.
H A M R A D IO D E LUX E
This is a software program that enables the Tracking Station Main Computer to command the
receiver and transceiver in order to account for Doppler shift as the satellite conducts an over
flight pass of the ground station. HRD is a free program developed by members of the world wide
amateur radio community to facilitate the use of multiple radios using different kinds of
modulation schemes and is available for download at www.ham-radio-deluxe.com. The Tracking
Station is currently using the beta copy of HRD version 5, which offers many capabilities for
satellite operation. The setup and operation of this program is further explained in the Operability
Chapter.
29
2. Rotor Subsystem and Antenna Support Structure
Figure 20: Highlighted Selection of Key Rotor Subsystem and Antenna Support Structure Components
Key Components for the Rotor Subsystem and Antenna Support Structure are the Computer
Interface Rotor Control, the Rotor Control, Azimuth and Elevation Rotors, and the Antenna
Support Structure.
C O M P U TE R I N TER FA C E R O TO R C O N TR O L
This is the Serial to USB cables that connect the Tracking Station Main Computer to the Rotor
Control box, and were purchased locally at Fry’s Electronics. They provide the means of
transferring commands from the computer USB port to the rotor control box RS-232 (Serial) port.
30
These cables require the installation of support drivers on the computer in order to operate
properly. The position location of the USB socket on the computer rear face plate determines for
which COM port the cable is designated, which also affects the proper selection of set
requirements in NOVA for Windows and HRD. Physical setup of these cables requires attention
to detail to the numerically labeled cables. The setup and operation of these software drivers are
further explained in the Operability Chapter.
R O TOR C ON TR O L
This is the M2 Antenna Systems RC2800PRKX2SU Rotor Control Unit, often referred to as the
rotor control box. It was purchased though M2 Antenna. It is rack mounted along with the Icom
IC-R9500 and Astron power supply. This unit provides the conversion of computer commands to
the commands that control the direction and rate of the rotors.
Figure 21: Picture of the rotor control unit RC2800PRKX2SU
A Z IM U TH A ND E LE VA TIO N R O TOR S
These are the AZ-1000A w/LSK-1000 and EL-1000A w/LSK-1000 rotors with rotate and move
the antenna cluster assembly from commands received by the rotor control box. They were
supplied by M2 Antenna as a kit that was put together and mounted to the mast extension with
three clamping collars. The LSK stands for Limit Switch Kit and provides the feature of
preventing either the AZ or EL rotors from rotating beyond certain user defined limits or
31
mechanical capabilities of the structure and rotors. The rotors are robust enough to support the
antenna cluster and move it while in breezes, and its wind loading capabilities are aided by the
selection of a mesh dish reflector with provides less mass and less wind loading area.
A N TE N N A S UP P OR T S TR UC TU R E
This consists of a custom fabricated mast extension mounted on top of a pre-existing antenna
structure. The mast is constructed of a 6 inch diameter steel pipe with a collar to adapt the mast to
the pre-existing antenna structure and secured with multiple bolts. The mast itself is undercoated
with several layers rust inhibiting primer spray paint with an over coating of several layers of
weather resistant silver gray spray paint in order to allow the mast to withstand the local Atlanta,
GA, climate. The antenna support structure is mounted on top of the pre-existing structure shown
in the figure below on the left, while the mast extension, AZ and EL rotors, and counter balance
arms are shown in the figure below on the right.
Figure 22: Pictures of the pre-existing structure and the mounting of the rotor system.
Design of O ther Components Not Previously L isted
U N IV ER S A L P O W ER S UP P LY
This is an APC 3000 W model universal power supply (UPS) which is the main power supply for
the Tracking Station components, and was purchased though the GT Aerospace Finance office.
The UPS provides 3000 watts of power should the power in the building fail, which would allow
32
the Tracking Station to continue operation uninterrupted for several minutes until regular building
power returned. It also provides power conditioning to the majority of the electronic components
in the tracking station, which will help extend the useful life of the components. Replacement
batteries for the UPS are available for purchase online at www.apc.com as well as for potential
future upgrades.
P O WER S UP P LY
The power supply is an Astron RM-50M, that is available online at www.astroncorp.com, and is
rack mounted with the other tracking station equipment, and was purchased through the GT
Aerospace Finance office. The power supply provides the means of converting the typical 120
volt alternating current from the universal power supply to the typically used 13.8 volt direct
current utilized by radio equipment.
It is capable of providing 37 amperes of current for
continuous duty activity which is plenty of current for operation of the transceiver and LNAs.
Figure 23: Picture of the Astron RM-50M power supply
P O WER S TR IP
The power strip is manufactured by West Mountain Radio and is the model RIGrunner 4010S,
which provides multiple outlets for the 12 to 13.8 volt direct current convert by the power supply.
It was purchased from West Mountain Radio directly. It offers easily recognized positive and
negative terminals with one way plugs to prevent accidental crossing of polarities. Currently the
33
power strip is slotted to provide power to the transceiver and the LNAs; however, it has multiple
plugs to offer future expansion for the tracking station.
Figure 24: Picture of the West Mountain Radio RIGrunner 4010S
P O WER B O OS TER
This is the TGE Electronics N8XJK Super Booster, available online at www.tgelectronics.org and
was purchased through the website. This item is not required for the tracking station to operate
properly, but is a precautionary piece of equipment. It provides a steady voltage of 13.8 volts at
various current draws when powering equipment, namely the transceiver, to allow the equipment
to operate specifically at its designed input voltage, which results in steadier signals produced
during transmitting activities.
Figure 25: Picture of the TGE Super Booster
34
The figure below shows all the components of the Tracking Station block diagram with the
specified part for each component. It is a useful diagram for depicting all the key components and
parts of the tracking station for easy reference.
Figure 26: Block Diagram of Tracking Station Components with specific part identified
35
CHAPTER 3: TRAINING PROGRAM FOR THE TRACKING STATION
The Ground Station may operate in the receiving mode with no FCC certification, so any
individual that has proper training on the operation of the receiving equipment may operate the
station in the receive mode only. The FCC requires that amateur stations have a certified
individual operating the station when conducting transmissions. Therefore any operator who
wishes to uplink commands to the R3 satellite must be a certified amateur radio operator. The
licensing body for amateur radio in the United States is the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL)
and more information is available at www.arrl.org. They are responsible for testing and licensing
individuals, which is typically done through local clubs of the ARRL. On campus there is the
Georgia Tech Amateur Radio Club (call sign W4AQL) at http://cyberbuzz.gatech.edu/w4aql/.
They regularly schedule training and testing for licensing. It is recommended to contact the Club
and coordinate for licensing activities prior to any unlicensed user using the Ground Station
system, even in receive mode, and is definitely required for transmit mode. Also visit the ARRL
website for other useful information on amateur radio operations. While the operation of the
Ground Station system only requires a Technician class license, it is recommended that the
operator(s) earn their General class license, as this requires more in depth knowledge of general
radio operations and procedures. This will help the operator(s) understand the Ground Station
system and subsystems in more detail, which should translate to better operating efficiency.
The next section discusses key equipment familiarization for the operator from a downlink and
uplink perspective and recommended equipment instruction manual sections or chapters to review
prior to operation of the equipment.
K ey Downlink E quipment
I C O M IC-R9500
The IC-R9500 is the primary receiver for satellites operating near the 2405 MHz frequency. It is a
professional communications receiver with laboratory grade functions incorporated in the design
36
and provides a 10 MHz wide spectrum view. Prior to operating the IC-R9500 is it recommended
that the operator read the following chapters in the instruction manual.
Section i – iii: Foreword, explicit definitions, and precautions.
Section 1: Panel Description
 Front Panel
 Rear Panel
 LCD Screen
 Screen menu arrangement

Section 3: Basic Operations
 Initial Settings
 Frequency Settings
 Operating mode selection
 Volume setting
 RF gain adjustment
 Squelch level adjustment
 Meter indication selection
Section 4: Receive Modes
 Operating FM
 Operating WFM
 Operating AM
 Operating SSB
 Operating CW
 Operating FSK
Section 5: Receive Functions
 Spectrum scope screen
 Preamplifier
 Attenuator
 Twin PBT operation
 IF filter selection
 Notch function
Section 12: Maintenance
 Troubleshooting
 Screen type selection
 Main dial break adjustment
 Frequency calibration
37

Fuse replacement
Section 13: Control Command
 Remote interface information
M2 A N TE N N A R O TO R C ON TR O L LE R U N IT RC2800PRKX2SU
The rotor controller is responsible for moving and positioning the antenna cluster to follow the
satellite through its over flight pass of the ground station. Prior to operating the RC2800PRK2SU
is it recommended that the operator read the entire instruction manual for the rotor controller.
K ey Uplink E quipment
K E N WO OD TS-2000X
The TS-2000X is an amateur base station transceiver used primarily for transmitting commands to
the R3 satellite through the built in TNC. It also has secondary receive capabilities for the 70cm
band. Prior to operating the TS-2000X is it recommended that the operator read the following
chapters in the instruction manual.
Section i –iii: Precautions
Chapter 1: Installation
 Antenna Connection
 Ground Connection
 DC Power Supply Connection
 Replacing Fuses
 Accessory Connections
Chapter 4: Getting Acquainted
 Front Panel
 Rear Panel
 Display
Chapter 5: Operating Basics
 Switching power On/Off
 Adjusting Volume
 Selecting A band
 Selecting A mode
 Adjusting Squelch
38


Selecting a Frequency
Transmitting
Chapter 6: Menu Setup
 Menu A / Menu B
 Menu Access
 Menu Configuration
Chapter 7: Basic Communications
 SSB Transmission
 FM Transmission
 AM Transmission
 CW transmission
Chapter 10: Sub-Receiver
 Sub-Receiver
 TX Band and Control Band
 Receiving
 Transmitting
Chapter 11: Specialized Communications
 Packet radio
 Built In TNC
 Preparation
 AMTOR/PacTOR/CLOVER/G-TOR/PSK31
Chapter 15: Operator Conveniences
 Antennas
 Automatic Antenna Tuner
 Attenuator
 Display
 TNC
 Transverter
 TX Monitor
 TX Power
 Computer Control
Chapter 16: Connecting Peripheral Equipment
 Computer
 MCP and TNC
Chapter 18: Troubleshooting
39




General Information
Lithium Battery
Troubleshooting
Operating Notices
Chapter 21: Appendix
 Built In TNC Command List
 COM Connector
 PC Control Command Tables
W ES T M O U N TA IN R A D IO R IG B LA S TER PRO
The RIGblaster provides the interface between the Tracking Station Main Computer sound card
and the TS-2000X. Prior to operating the RIGblaster PRO is it recommended that the operator
read the entire instruction manual for the sound card interface.
K ey Software Programs
H A M R A D IO D E LUX E
Familiarity with the use of Ham Radio Deluxe and its capability to mirror the functions available
on the receiver and transceiver is important to learn firsthand. The online user’s manual is
beneficial to review, however, systematically going through the various menu tabs and exploring
their listed functions is a more useful way to learn how to use HRD and discovering its
capabilities. HRD requires proper setup as discussed in the Operability chapter below to connect
to the transceiver and receiver
NOVA FOR W IN DO W S
Familiarity with NOVA for Windows is straight forward as it is a basic program with few menu
tab options to explore. The biggest requirement is to learn to properly configure the program for
the rotor control unit though the correct COM port using the Serial to USB cable. Aside from
that, NOVA for Windows does not need much practice in its use.
40
Practice Recommended
It is recommended that all selected operators thoroughly practice the use of the equipment prior to
any scheduled down linking or uplinking activity. Familiarity with the functions on both the
actual piece of equipment and its counterpart in HRD are required prior to the successful operation
of the tracking station for capturing and transmitting data. The use of other amateur ground base
stations in the Atlanta region is a good way for operators to learn to use HRD when practicing it
use. The 2 meter amateur band usually has FM activity on it at all hours during the day or night,
and amateur operators will offer RST reports on request. An RST report is a report from a
receiving station on the quality and strength of the transmitted signal. The report uses numbers to
represent the tone of a voice transmission of a transmitting station's signal at the receiving station's
location.
Readability (R): This is transmission understanding what is said and how well; on a scale of 1 to
5, with a signal readability of 5 being perfect with no difficulty in understanding. In other words
readability is the ability of the other operator to understand what you are saying, where a 1 is
unreadable
and
a
5
is
perfectly
readable.
Strength (S): On a scale of 1 to 9, strength indicates how strong the station’s signal is received. A
1
is
a
very
faint
signal
while
a
9
is
an
extremely
strong
signal.
Tone (T): On a scale of 1 to 9 this is the quality of the tone of the transmission, from a "60 cycle
harsh tone" as 1 to a very pure tone at 9.
41
CHAPTER 4: OPERABILITY
TRACKING STATION SETUP
This section covers the setup of the tracking station for preparation of operation. It covers the
setup of the key software drivers and programs.
Serial to USB Cable Setup
These cables are responsible for connecting the Tracking Station Main Computer to the various
peripheral devices that control the functioning of the tracking station. The Serial to USB cables
used in the tracking station are made by i.Connect and are Model # 3312. The drivers for these
cables are available for download at www.ppa-usa.com/drivers.htm. Select the Windows Vista
download on that website under the link 3312 | 7796D: Windows Vista Download as the selected
device driver for these cables. Verify that the drivers are installed correctly by checking under the
computer properties in the Device Manager section. Each Serial to USB cable is labeled for
specific hardware to computer connection and each specific USB socket port determines which
COM port is enabled.
Table 5: Communication Port (COM #) Allocation
Communications Port
COM #
COM 3
COM 4
COM 5
COM 6
Peripheral Device Connected
Icom IC-R9500
Kenwood TS-2000X
Azimuth rotor control
Elevation rotor control
H am Radio Deluxe Setup
The primary software used to control the receiver and transmitter in the tracking station is Ham
Radio Deluxe (HRD) 5.0(Beta). The program is downloadable from http://www.ham-radio42
deluxe.com/HRDv5.aspx and the website should be checked regularly for updates to the software
since the current version is a Beta test. Ensure that HRD is installed by powering up the computer
and turning on all the rack mounted hardware. Ensure all the Serial to USB cables are connected
correctly and execute HRD. When HRD is started, the program will offer a set of preset devices.
Ensure the devices have the correct preferences set as indicated in the figure below.
Figure 27: Ham Radio Deluxe Preset Preferences
It is possible to open two instances in one running version of HRD by clicking the connect button
again and selecting the other device, or execute a completely new instance of HRD and
connecting to the other device. The first method mentioned is the preferred method. Note, on
occasion the Kenwood transceiver will fail to connect. This requires closing HRD and turning the
TS-2000X off, checking to ensure the cable is properly seated, then turning on the transceiver,
waiting a moment, the executing HRD and following the above described connection procedure.
To install a new device with a new connection when the “Select a Preset” box pops up is to click
on the “New” tab. Once that is done select the company and radio type of the specific piece of
hardware being added. Enter the COM port number and speed and check off the proper Flow
Control and Interface preferences as shown in the figure above, or determine a new setting.
43
Once the receiver and transceiver are connected and operating properly, initiate the built in
satellite program under HRD by clicking on the “Satellites” button on the toolbar at the top of the HRD window. Select the preferred satellite from the drop down menu and check mark the TX
and RX boxes, this gives the satellite program control over the receiver and transceiver though
HRD. Confirm that both the receiver and transceiver are properly connected by the tab files on
the left hand side of the screen. The map will show the ground trace path of the selected satellite
and on the bottom will display radar images of several of the next overhead passes for the satellite.
Shown under the “Satellite Definitions” tab will be all the satellites that are available for selection under the drop down menu, and can limit the available selections by checking only those desired.
In general, keep this limit on “All Definitions” just so any satellite can be chosen for tracking. Note, DO NOT choose satellites GOES 10 through GOES 14 as the software program will freeze
and reboot of the software must occur to fix the problem. To get rid of all the old TLE
information click on “Purge Old Entries” button. Following that, get the new information by
clicking on the “Kepler Data” tab and check each box except for the one that ends in “goes”, as seen in the figure below, and the press the “Download Now” button.
Figure 28: Kepler Data selection tab in Ham Radio Deluxe
This will ensure that the latest information on satellite trajectories is available for HRD to use in
the tracking of satellites. Another important step in setting up the Satellite tab under HRD is the
Options button. It is important for the software program to know where it is located so it can
properly track satellites. In order to have correct coordinates for tracking station latitude and
44
longitude click on “Options” button and fill out the latitude, longitude, and height boxes as shown
in the figure below.
Figure 29: Tracking Station latitude, longitude, and height input for location option
N O V A for W indows Setup
This is an alternate program that is responsible for sending commands to the rotor control box
which translates the commands into the actual movement of rotors to move the antenna cluster.
Until HRD fully supports the selection of the rotor control box, NOVA for Windows is the
alternative. The program installs easily and setup for the COM port connection is straight
forward. The registration key for NOVA for Windows is N L D-7180427 which allows for the full
version of the program, not just the demonstration version. Unfortunately at this time, it has not
been possible to connect the program to both azimuth and elevation rotor controls. M2 is
investigating the problem, and it might be they sent an upgraded version of the rotor control box
that does not work directly with NOVA for Windows or HRD. This is still an ongoing issue to be
resolved potentially through a replacement unit rotor control box.
45
CHAPTER 5: INTEGRATION AND TESTING
REQUIREMENT VERIFICATION
Requirement 1
All communication shall abide by ITU and FCC regulations. Georgia Tech Center for Space
Systems shall obtain the necessary spectrum licenses for operating its space segment radio
communication equipment prior to FCR. This requirement verification will be done by inspection
of the license document that will be on hand at the Ground Station and Mission Operations Center
prior to FCR.
Requirement 2
Ground transceivers and antennas shall operate in the UHF and S-Band frequencies.
This
requirement verification will be done by testing through the use of other ground based radio
stations transmitting in the UHF and S-Band frequencies. The test procedure will require a
secondary transceiver that can operate in the UHF and S-Band frequencies, in order to send test
transmission at the start and end segments of the designed bandwidths for the two antennas.
Coordinate with the GT Amateur Radio Club for available radio frequency sources to conduct the
testing. Send and receive test messages between the two stations.
Requirement 2.1
The Ground Receiving antenna shall operate in the amateur S-band for downlink.
This
requirement verification will be done by analysis as indicated in the design section of this report.
Confirmation of the analysis and design can be accomplished by testing with an S-Band
transmission source, such as satellite AO-51, or another similar type source. Consult with the GT
Amateur Radio Club for potential sources.
46
Requirement 2.2
The Ground Transmitting antenna shall operate in the amateur UHF band for uplink. This
requirement verification will be done by analysis as indicated in the design section of this report.
Confirmation of the analysis and design can be accomplished by testing with another UHF
transceiver, such as those available through the GT Amateur Radio Club. Coordinate with that
organization for use of their UHF transceiver equipment in order to test the UHF antenna system.
Requirement 3
The Tracking Station shall use computer controlled rotors to direct the antenna system. This
requirement verification will be done by testing the rotor system through input control on the
Tracking Station Main Computer. The testing done is to confirm that the rotors do in fact follow
the commands issued by the computer to properly track satellites as they pass over the ground
station and point the dish assembly in the correct direction to receiver satellite S-Band
transmissions. This requires proper setup of the limit switch kit which is installed on the rotor
gears and prevents the rotor from traversing to far beyond its design limits. Then the rotor system
must be oriented correctly so that the rotor witness marks line up with the displayed direction on
the control box. The system should then be set for proper tracking. Visual confirmation can be
accomplished by selecting and loading TLEs for Iridium satellites and coordinating day time
flares for observation.
Requirement Number 3.1
The Tracking Station Main Computer will control the automated tracking functions for the
antenna cluster system. This requirement verification will be done by testing to ensure that the
program controls the antenna cluster through the rotor system correctly by selecting and tracking
an amateur satellite such as AO-51 to test expected signal strength versus actual received signal
strength.
Requirement Number 3.2
A designated computer in the Mission Operation Center shall be used to pass command signals to
the antenna rotor system. This requirement verification will be done by testing the commands
47
passed from the MOC to the Tracking Station Main Computer through the use of remote desktop
control of the programs that control the radios and rotor systems, mainly Ham Radio Deluxe and
NOVA for Windows.
FUNCTIONAL TESTS
The Ground Station is designed primarily to be a computer operated station. In order to achieve
this goal, the station is tested, first by independent major component groups (listed below), and
then as a collective whole group. Within major component groups, testing generally consists of,
first, manually configuring and confirming correct operation with fixed stations; secondly,
configuring software control of components then confirming correct operation with fixed stations;
thirdly, confirming software control of components then correct operation with moving stations.
Major Component Groups
1. Rotor/Dish Control
2. Receiver Operation
3. Transmitter Operation
4. Computer Software Configuration
1. Rotor/Dish Control
This is testing for the operation of the rotor control which is responsible for moving and pointing
the antenna cluster toward the satellite during its over flight pass of the ground station.
1. Direct connection of the hardware (AZ/EL1000A w/LSK1000) to the rotor control
assembly box (RC2800PRKXSU) to confirm operation of mechanisms to rotate the antenna
assembly. COMPLETED
2. Direct connection of the computer and software control program (NOVA for Windows) to
the rotor control assembly box (RC2800PRKXSU) and software operation of the rotor system.
INCOMPLETE
48
3. Indirect connection to the computer and software control program software through the use
of Window’s Remote Desktop feature. INCOMPLETE
Notes: Currently working with M2 Antenna staff to find a solution for computer control and
tracking. The supplied M2 software works properly; however, NOVA for Windows does not
currently work, though it should.
2. Receiver O peration
This is testing for the operation of the Icom receiver which is responsible for receiving signals
through the mesh dish reflector septum feed antenna from S-band satellites.
1. Manually configure and manually control Receiver (IC-R9500) and receive fixed station
contact (Amateur or ISM). COMPLETED
2. Configure computer software control (Ham Radio Deluxe) and receive fixed station contact
(Amateur or ISM). COMPLETED
3. Configure computer software control (Ham Radio Deluxe) and receive moving station
contact (NOAA satellite or AMSAT). INCOMPLETE
Notes: The IC-R9500 has received many ground fixed stations, both amateur and commercial,
through manual control and computer software control. On occasion the software can put the
receiver into a “locked” mode, where front faceplate input commands on the receiver to do not
work. To remove the lock, press the “Local” button located just under the power button on the front faceplate.
3. T ransmitter O peration
This is testing for the operation of the Kenwood transceiver which is responsible for transmitting
signals through the Yagi antenna to the UHF receiver on the satellite.
1. Manually configure and manually control Transmitter (TS-2000X) and transmit voice to a
fixed station (Amateur). COMPLETED
49
2. Configure computer software control (Ham Radio Deluxe) and transmit data to a fixed
station (Amateur). INCOMPLETE
3. Configure computer software control (Ham Radio Deluxe) and transmit data to a moving
station (AMSAT). INCOMPLETE
Notes: In order to get data from the computer through the Kenwood transceiver requires setup
of the West Mountain Radio RIGblaster and the selection of the communication mode to be
used for the transmission.
4. Computer Software Configuration
This is testing for the operation of the Tracking Station Main Computer which is responsible for
computer control of the receiver and transmitter.
1. Configure rotor control assembly box (RC2800PRKXSU) computer program (NOVA for
Windows) for remote desktop operation. INCOMPLETE
2. Configure Receiver (IC-R9500) computer program (Ham Radio Deluxe) for remote desktop
operation. INCOMPLETE
3. Configure Transmitter (TS-2000X) computer program (Ham Radio Deluxe) for remote
desktop operation. INCOMPLETE
4. Operate NOVA for Windows and Ham Radio Deluxe concurrently. COMPLETED
5. Configure and operate NOVA for Windows and Ham Radio Deluxe simultaneously using
Windows remote desktop feature. INCOMPLETE
Note: Most of these operations are for remote operation of the ground station software
programs and requires setup of the remote desktop feature available in Windows.
50
INTRAGRATED TESTS
E nd-To-E nd Test
End to End testing of the Ground Station consists of locally and remotely operating the station for
receiving and transmitting data.
1. Complete the above listed Functional Tests and Integration of individual systems.
2. Confirm that the rotor, receiver, and transmitter controls are set properly and that software is
appropriately configured, both locally and for remote desktop operation.
3. Successful conclusion of the Ground Station setup is determined by successfully receiving an
image from an orbiting NOAA satellite and displaying it on the computer and posting the image to
the server for the Ground Data System.
51
CHAPTER 6: RISK AREAS AND OPEN ITEMS
RISK AREAS
The largest risk to the operation of the Tracking Station is currently the inability of either HRD or
NOVA for Windows to connect properly to the rotor control unit. This could be because the
initial quote was listed as model number RC2800PRKXSU while the unit that was shipped was
model number RC2800PRKX2SU. Note the difference between PRKXSU and PRKX-2-SU.
Current solution in progress involves a discussion with M2 Antenna for an exchange of rotor
control units. This still needs to be resolved.
OPEN ITEMS
The following items require completion for the Tracking Station to become fully operational.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Construction of the UHF yagi antenna.
Construction and mounting of the UHF yagi antenna boom arm support structure.
The septum antenna feed needs a mounting bracket designed and fabricated.
The universal power supply needs to be setup and components connected to it.
A power cable needs to be fabricated to go from the power strip to the power connection on
the low noise amplifiers.
6. The three transmission cables need to be routed from the receiver and transceiver to the
appropriate antennas, either with a cutout under the door and through the existing wall hole, or
create a new wall hole.
7. The West Mountain Radio RIGblaster needs to be connected properly between the Tracking
Station Main Computer and Kenwood transceiver. The internal jumpers in the RIGblaster
have already been configured according to the manual for a Kenwood transceiver.
8. Rotor control through either HRD or NOVA for Windows needs to be established. See the
Risk Area above for current problems with configuration.
9. A short cable run, about 2 to 3 feet, needs to be ordered with LMR-600 and N-type female
connectors on both ends in order to connect the antenna switch to the receiver.
10. Recommend the purchase of 12 to 15 foot tall folding ladder, long enough to reach the
weather cap, in order to perform maintenance on the antenna cluster and attach other
components.
52
APPENDIX LIST
Appendix A: Amateur Radio Relay League Band Plans for 12 Centimeters and 70 Centimeters
The entire ARRL Band Plan is available at www.arrl.org or http://www.arrl.org/band-plan-1
12 Centimeters (2300-2310 and 2390-2450 M H z):
2300.0 - 2303.0
High-rate data
2303.0 - 2303.5
Packet
2303.5 - 2303.8
TTY packet
2303.9 - 2303.9
Packet, TTY, CW, EME
2303.9 - 2304.1
CW, EME
2304.1
Calling frequency
2304.1 - 2304.2
CW, EME, SSB
2304.2 - 2304.3
SSB, SSTV, FAX, Packet AM, Amtor
2304.30 - 2304.32 Propagation beacon network
2304.32 - 2304.40 General propagation beacons
2304.4 - 2304.5
SSB, SSTV, ACSSB, FAX, Packet AM, Amtor experimental
2304.5 - 2304.7
Crossband linear translator input
2304.7 - 2304.9
Crossband linear translator output
2304.9 - 2305.0
Experimental beacons
2305.0 - 2305.2
FM simplex (25 kHz spacing)
2305.20
FM simplex calling frequency
2305.2 - 2306.0
FM simplex (25 kHz spacing)
2306.0 - 2309.0
FM Repeaters (25 kHz) input
2309.0 - 2310.0
Control and auxiliary links
2390.0 - 2396.0
Fast-scan TV
2396.0 - 2399.0
High-rate data
2399.0 - 2399.5
Packet
2399.5 - 2400.0
Control and auxiliary links
2400.0 - 2403.0
Satellite
53
2403.0 - 2408.0
Satellite high-rate data
2408.0 - 2410.0
Satellite
2410.0 - 2413.0
FM repeaters (25 kHz) output
2413.0 - 2418.0
High-rate data
2418.0 - 2430.0
Fast-scan TV
2430.0 - 2433.0
Satellite
2433.0 - 2438.0
Satellite high-rate data
2438.0 - 2450.0
WB FM, FSTV, FMTV, SS experimental
70 Centimeters (420-450 M H z):
420.00 - 426.00
ATV repeater or simplex with 421.25 MHz video carrier control links and
experimental
426.00 - 432.00
ATV simplex with 427.250-MHz video carrier frequency
432.00 - 432.07
EME (Earth-Moon-Earth)
432.07 - 432.10
Weak-signal CW
432.10
70-cm calling frequency
432.10 - 432.30
Mixed-mode and weak-signal work
432.30 - 432.40
Propagation beacons
432.40 - 433.00
Mixed-mode and weak-signal work
433.00 - 435.00
Auxiliary/repeater links
435.00 - 438.00
Satellite only (internationally)
438.00 - 444.00
ATV repeater input with 439.250-MHz video carrier frequency and
repeater links
442.00 - 445.00
Repeater inputs and outputs (local option)
445.00 - 447.00
Shared by auxiliary and control links, repeaters and simplex (local option)
446.00
National simplex frequency
447.00 - 450.00
Repeater inputs and outputs (local option)
54
Appendix B: Dimensions for Improved Septum with Dual Mode Horn, by Dmitry Dmitriev, RA3AQ.
55
Appendix C: 2405 MHz Septum Antenna Design Layout.
56
Appendix D: DEM 13ULNA Specifications.
57
58
Appendix E: Brief Specifications for the Icom IC-R9500.
Full specifications for the receiver are in the user manual which is available for download from
the Icom website.
www.icomamerica.com
http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/receivers/tabletop/r9500/default.aspx
59
Appendix F: Brief Specifications for the Kenwood TS-2000X.
Full specifications for the receiver are in the user manual which is available for download from
the Kenwood website.
www.kenwoodusa.com
http://www.kenwoodusa.com/Communications/Amateur_Radio/
http://inform3.kenwoodusa.com/Manuals/TS-2000.pdf
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Appendix G: Contact Information for various vendors.
M2 Antenna Systems, Inc. (Provided rotors, rotor control unit, mesh dish, and cables)
http://www.m2inc.com/
4402 North Selland Avenue, Fresno, CA 93722
Tel: (559) 432-8873 Fax:(559) 432-3059
Hours: Weekdays 7:30AM - 4:00PM PST
Down East Microwave (Provided low noise amplifiers (LNAs))
http://www.downeastmicrowave.com/
19519 78th Terrace, Live Oak, FL 32060
Tel: (386) 364-5529
Monday thru Thursday from 9:00am to 6:00pm EST (we close for lunch 12noon to 1pm)
Cable X-perts, Inc. (Provided transmission cables)
http://www.cablexperts.com/
540 Zenith Drive, Glenview, IL 60025
Tel: (800) 828-3340 Fax: (847) 391-9103
Normal business hours are M-F 9:00AM to 5:00PM CST
Ack Electronics Atlanta (Provided transmission cable connectors and adapters)
http://www.acksupply.com/
554 Deering Road North West, Atlanta, GA 30309
Tel: (404) 351-6340 or (800) 282-7954 Fax: (404) 351-1879
Open 8AM-5PM EST
Ham Radio Outlet Atlanta (Provided the transceiver and receiver)
http://www.hamradio.com/
6071 Buford Highway, Atlanta GA 30340
Tel: (800) 444-7927 or (770) 263-0700
Telephone hours 9:30AM-5:30PM Monday-Saturday
HRO stores open 10AM-5:30PM
West Mountain Radio (Provided the RIGblaster PRO and RIGrunner 4010S)
http://www.westmountainradio.com/
34 Smith Street, Norwalk, CT 06851
Tel: (203) 853-8080 Fax: (203) 299-0232
Fry’s Electronics (Provided the Serial to USB cables)
http://www.frys.com/
3296 Commerce Avenue North West, Duluth, GA
Tel: (678) 405-6800 Fax: (678)405-6818
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Bernier, Steve; & Barbear, Michel. “A Virtual Ground Station Based on Distributed Components for Satellite Communications” Carleton University from the “Proceedings of 15th Annual
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