The Auto-Tracking Antenna System

Antennas Aid UAV Automatic Tracking

A portable antenna system operates at frequencies from S- through C-band with a movable parabolic dish for tracking radios on UAVs.

Persistent Systems LLC has developed the Auto-Tracking Antenna System, an easy-to-assemble, portable ground-to-air antenna for networked battlefields. Designed to operate on the Wave Relay mobile ad hoc network (MANET), the tracking antenna rotates to track radios on the ground or in the air, such as those on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to maintain connections.

The Auto-Tracking Antenna System (Fig. 1) can be assembled and deployed in less than 15 min. It is completely collapsible, with the main 5-ft.-diameter parabolic dish breaking down into eight individual petals for ease of transport. The antenna enables video streaming over distances to 130 miles (200 km) with high throughput.

1. The Auto-Tracking Antenna System is quick to assemble and disassemble for ease of transport. The MIMO antenna system works with radio modules from S- through C-band frequencies.

“The Auto-Tracking Antenna System represents a major step towards achieving the vision of a truly networked battlefield,” said Herb Rubens, CEO of Persistent Systems. “The tracking antenna rotates to follow air assets, keeping them connected to the MANET. The air platforms orbit over our users on the ground, extending the MANET bubble and keeping soldiers connected to the enterprise. High throughput, low latency connectivity empowers the warfighter and decreases the dependence on satcom, which both reduces cost and increases network availability.”

The Auto-Tracking Antenna System covers a wide frequency range. It has interchangeable S-, L-, and C-band multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antenna feeds that operate across the frequency ranges of Persistent’s five radio modules (Fig. 2). The antenna feeds twist-lock into place for simple and reliable installation. An automatic heading system works with the antenna for self-calibration prior to antenna use, achieving 1-deg. pointing accuracy following calibration.

2. The portable antenna works with compact radio modules to cover S-, L-, and C-band frequencies.

“Our customers require a system that is simple to put together, turn on, and works,” said Louis Sutherland, vice president of business development at Persistent Systems LLC. “They want to extend the Wave Relay MANET out to aircraft and achieve high data-rates and reliable HD video transmission. The Auto-Tracking Antenna System truly delivers.”

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