Antenna Tracking - Initial Testing

I know that antenna tracking is nothing new, but I had to share my excitement in getting mine built and working!  My inner-nerd celebrated at the sound of the servo motors coming to life for the first time and I have been trying to perfect the pointing ever since.

My basic approach was to designate a position in the software for my "Antenna Tracker" to reflect where it was actually placed, then start pumping in my aircraft's telemetry data.  I am using STK to handle all of the angle calculations for Azimuth and Elevation between the tracker and the aircraft and I have a plugin that is then feeding that data to the actual hardware.  

So far everything looks very positive and seems to be working great!  I hope to take everything out for its maiden flight later this week and I can't wait!  I will hopefully update with some additional video and keeping my fingers crossed that the setup will provide me with crystal clear video links....but even if it doesn't, it will still look straight-up cool sitting there spinning around!

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  • Thanks for the suggestions!  I'd like to know more about that approach actually.  How would I go about using the RSSI information to be fed back to the tracker?  The RSSI measurement doesn't include directionality, but is just a measured number right?  So, would the tracker be making small adjustments to sample the direction of the highest signal and move permanently to that direction and then repeat the process to continue "following" the signal source?

    I could possibly source another Pixhawk to use the ArduPilot Tracker method though, that is a good suggestion and I might try that at some point down the road!

  • Just for a suggestion, instead of using the coordenates broadcast from the aircraft to you tracker station, you should use a RSSI (receiver signal strenght indicator) because it is much much much more precise. Although this precision doesnt play a crucial role within a fe hundred meters, it will when you start adding kilometers on your distance. Like mr. Pittenger said, ardupilot antenna tracker uses this protocol of RSSI.

    However astonishing job!

  • Developer

    Have you taken a look at ArduPilot's Antenna Tracker?

    AntennaTracker Home — AntennaTracker documentation
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