An aircraft based emulation platform and control model for LEO satellite antenna beam steering

Kruger, Iwan Carel (2010-12)

Thesis (MScEng (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A joint project between the KU Leuven and Stellenbosch Universities was at the time of this thesis underway to develop a space borne electronically beam steerable antenna and the associated ground-space segments. This thesis covers the development of an aircraft based satellite emulator to facilitate convenient aircraft based testing of an antenna array, intended for low earth orbit satellite deployment and subsystems to control the antenna array. A flight strategy is developed to emulate such a satellite pass as best possible, with the strategy implemented in software on in-flight PC hardware. A full interface between the aircraft avionics and satellite bus system has been developed to enable generation of the required antenna steering commands and to create a satellite bus image to the payload. Successful test results are presented, as obtained from the actual aircraft ight simulator. The thesis describes the successful development and testing of a low altitude flight test strategy for certain satellite borne systems, as a cost-effective and realistic interim step to actual and very expensive space flight testing.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Gesamentlike projek deur KU Leuven en Stellenbosch Universiteit was tydens die verloop van hierdie tesis besig met die ontwikkeling om 'n ruimte gebaseerde elektroniese straal beheerde antenna en geassosieerde substelsels daar te stel. Hierdie tesis handel oor die ontwikkeling van 'n vliegtuig gebaseerde satelliet emulator om die toetsing van 'n elektroniese stuurbare antenna, wat bedoel is vir 'n lae aardse wentelbaan, te fasiliteer en die ontwikkeling van substelsels wat die stuurbare antenna beheer. 'n Vlug strategie is ontwikkel om so 'n satelliet wentelbaan so na as moontlik te emuleer. Die strategie word dan geïmplementeer in die sagteware van die aanboord vlug rekenaar. 'n Intervlak tussen die vliegtuig instrumente en satellietbus is ontwikkel om die generering van die nodinge instruksies te fasiliteer en om 'n virtuele satellietbus vir die res van die satelliet stelsel te skep. Suksesvolle toets resultate word getoon wat met behulp van 'n vliegtuig simulator verkry is. Die tesis beskryf die suksesvolle ontwikkeling en toetsing van 'n lae vlugtoets strategie vir satelliet stelsels, as 'n koste effektiewe en realistiese tussenstap, tot baie duur ruimte vlugtoetsing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5200
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