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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Antenna Site - Procedures and Practices
    Posted: 07/August/2015 at 22:42
Antenna Site
In these tutorials we will look at the various component parts that make up a satellite ground station and the typical practices that engineers employ during satellite ground station engineering projects.

Antenna Site - Procedures and Practices

Site Survey
The site survey is the first on-site activity to take place when a satellite ground station is to be installed. The survey is carried out to determine if the proposed location of the antenna has a clear line of site to all required satellites, has suitable ground for the foundations of both the antenna and (if required) the equipment shelter and that there is sufficient power and communications connectivity.
The soil structure is important as the foundation needs to be built on solid stable ground. If not then subsidence of the soil could lead to the foundation tilting and in extreme cases the whole antenna could tilt to the point of falling over with catastrophic and expensive results.
Site Works and Foundation Planning
The results of the site survey are then used to develop the site plan which details the site works. This can be just a simple design of the antenna foundation alone or a more detailed plan for the whole site including all cable trenches and ducts and foundations for shelters.
If the soil structure is not suitable it can be reinforced with piles driven into the ground and filled with concrete. Different grades of hard-core are then added to stabilise and solidify the ground so that the foundation has a solid base to be built on. Once the foundation structure has been built with reinforcement rods, an inspection is carried out to check the alignment of the foundation kit for the antenna. Earth bonds and cable ducts will all be included at this point before any concrete is poured to ensure that everything is in place and where it should be. Once approved, the concrete is poured and after around 1 month it is ready for the antenna.
Cable Ducts
Between the antenna and the indoor equipment location are cable ducts which are pipes or trenches that will carry all of the cables required for the connectivity. These pipes are usually installed underground so that when the antenna installation is completed there are no visible connections between the shelter and antenna.

The antenna is installed on the foundation which includes all the bolts embedded in a reinforced concrete base structure. Large antennas require a crane and a team of installation engineers to construct the antenna over a period of weeks. Once the antenna has been constructed and installed the RF equipment can be installed and tested.
Waveguide Runs
In some cases, the HPAs are installed in the equipment racks within the shelter. The waveguide outputs are then connected to the antenna using long runs of waveguide supported by a bespoke structure to remove any weight or stress on the waveguide connections (flanges). If the waveguide is under stress it could eventually fracture and leak causing loss of transmit power as well as a health risk to anyone in close proximity.
In the next tutorial we will look at the Site Infrastructure.

Edited by Satcoms UK - 30/August/2015 at 22:33
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