Hiltron Communications, a globally active satellite system integrator, manufacturer and distributor, is introducing a service allowing 3D laser scanning and evaluation of teleport antennas. Based on technology developed by Hiltron’s subsidiary partner, ESA Microwave GmbH, this new resource allows reflectors of practically any size to be measured quickly and accurately.
“Satellite teleports have massively expanded in number since the mid 1980s,” says Hiltron sales manager Jean-Luc George van Eeckhoutte. “Many reflectors currently in use date back to those early years and are now performing with reduced efficiency. This new service allows reflectors to be checked in very high resolution as part of a complete performance evaluation. The 3D laser scanning technique we use is far more accurate than the commonly used photogrammetry technique and can be performed while the antenna is actually in operation. It is also much more efficient than photogrammetry which requires manual attachment of measurement targets to the reflector, a time-consuming process and one which results in only a few hundred points being measured.”
Hiltron’s 3D laser scanning service allows a million surface reference points per second to be captured with a geometric accuracy of less than 1 mm. The resultant information is integrated into a cloud of approximately 60 million points which is then used to create a computer-aided design model.”
After digitization and computation of the reflector and sub-reflector topography, the ingested data are used to calculate alignment, registration and any required fine-tuning such as surface restoration. Measured specifications and related performance parameters are delivered to the antenna operator or owner together with recommendations clarifying whether the antenna would benefit from upgrading, conversion or fitting with a multi-band feed system.
The 3D laser scanning service is available to new and existing Hiltron customers for any brand and model of satellite antenna up to 35 metres in diameter.