INTREPID 500-12 is the 5.0 meter diameter ground station antenna system that PrimaLuceLab Installation Team developed for space communication. The antenna has been installed in Polo Tecnologico Alto Adriatico, the technology park located in Pordenone (Italy) that, since its foundation in 2002, has been involved in technology transfer and entrepreneurial development. Space communication requires to exchange data from spacecrafts in Earth orbit or into deep space, and the ability to slew large parabolic antenna and track with high precision even fast moving objects in Space is critical. INTREPID 500-12 5.0m ground station antenna system allows slewing speed up to 19°/sec and it comes with a special design that flips in elevation axis, so it’s able to track any object in space, also in very Low Earth Orbit.
INTREPID 500-12 ground station antenna system weights more than 2 tons and it’s designed to be operational with winds up to 7o km/h (survival speed – that is the maximum wind speed in stow position – is 200 km/h) so it requires to be installed on a specially made concrete foundation that has been poured in front of Polo Tecnologico Alto Adriatico.
PrimaLuceLab Installation Team, by using a lifting machine, first installed the C800-HEAVY pier that provides the necessary support system for the large antenna and keeps it at the correct height above the ground. Then, the GS-800II antenna tracking system has been moved on top of the pier.
GS-800II antenna tracking system includes, in the main body, all the motors with encoders and the N-ACU Next generation Antenna Control Unit that allows remote control of the INTREPID 500-12. All the electronics and cables are housed within the GS-800II chassis in order to provide the necessary protection against weather effects.
Next, the Installation Team installed on the tracking system the antenna rear supports that has been specially designed in order to properly support the 5 meter diameter full dish, that weights 800 kg. Rear supports are also designed to keep the antenna into optimal parabolic shape when the antenna is moved to different sky position, avoiding mechanical flexures.
Then the 12 aluminum panels have been installed on top of the tracking system and fixed on the just installed support rods. In fact the 5 meter diameter full dish parabolic antenna is divided in panels that allow us to easily ship it all around the world. Then, PrimaLuceLab Installation Team made a fine tune of the panels positions in order to better match the parabolic shape.
PrimaLuceLab Installation Team also installed the 4 front supports that are designed to keep the feed support system just in front of the antenna and perfectly in focus. The feed support is designed to accomodate different feed dimensions in order to allow the use of INTREPID 500-12 to capture radio waves at different frequencies, up to 12 GHz.
Finally, the INTREPID 500-12 ground station antenna system is assembled and PrimaLuceLab Installation Team made the first setup in order to check that all the antenna movements were ready to be used. This antenna system will be connected to a feed and receiver to capture S and X bands and it’s ready to start the application for space communication at Polo Tecnologico Alto Adriatico.
You can find more informations about ground station antenna systems for space communication in https://www.radio2space.com/ website.