New Inclined Orbit Satellite Tracking Algorithm
C-COM has developed a proprietary inclined orbit satellite tracking algorithm which will provide C-COM customers the ability to use inclined orbit satellites for their space segment needs.
Inclined orbit satellites are end of life satellites that may have an additional useful life span from 6 month to a few years, however they are no longer in their prescribed controlled orbit due to lack of fuel.
From the point of view of a satellite owner, the economics of this situation are compelling. On one hand, the revenue derived from leasing transponder time on an inclined-orbit satellite is considerably less than the revenue which could be realized from a truly geostationary satellite. On the other hand, propellent usage is cut dramatically, thereby extending the useful life of the satellite, often by several years. The potential revenue to be derived from this extended life more than offsets the revenue lost through reduced transponder pricing. It comes as no surprise, then, that many satellite owners have allowed their geostationary satellites to drift into inclined irbits.
An inclined-orbit satellite poses a problem for the end user: the earth station antenna must track the satellite. For this purpose, the antenna must be equipped with a dual-axis steerable mount and a tracking controller. A dual-axis steerable mount is a motorized mount which can be moved independently about two axes: east-west and up-down. Those moves are program-controlled. This type of controller mathematically calculates the pointing angles to the satellite and moves the antenna accordingly. Calculations are based on program data entered into the controller.
This type of controller is capable of moving the antenna continuously, rather than in a series of steps. This technique is advantageous in low-signal situations where any change in AGC voltage would result in degraded signal quality.
With this feature enabled, the iNetVu controller will ensure that the mobile antenna maintains its maximum peaked signal on the configured inclined orbit satellite irrespective of their inclination angle. They have decided to develop this proprietary inclined orbit application for iNetVu controllers based on demand from the customers. This added feature will provide existing and future customers with the ability to use any inclined orbit satellite, should there be one available to them, and take advantage of the lower cost space segment offered over these satellites.