Veronte Tracker is a high performance tracking antenna specifically designed for most demanding applications. The system can install any directional antenna for maximizing system operation capabilities. Embedded control actuators and installed encoders permit to automatically point the antenna with unique precision. Height (Tilt control) and orientation (Pan control) given to the antenna makes the device perfect for long range operations.

Video: Tracking Antenna – Veronte Tracker

Veronte Ground Configuration

The first step of the configuration is the creation of the SU matrix including 2 controls (PAN-TILT) and 2 servos, the ones installed on Veronte Tracker in order to move Pan and Tilt axes.

SU Matrix

Once the SU matrix is complete, it is possible trimming both servos with the same procedure of aircraft servos in the Devices > Control > Actuators panel. The user must set the center of the antenna and then maximum and minimum angles. The procedure has to been repeated for both servos.

Servos Trimming

When servos are trimmed, the tracker has to be configured in the Devices > Others >Payload panel as a Conventional Gimbal with  Horizontal (Pan) and vertical (Tilt) axes.

Tracker Payload configuration

It is now possible to create the control loops of the axes: Pan and Tilt. Pan control loop is a closed loop with Joint 1 of gimbal 1 entry variable (the desired Pan angle) and the Encoder Angle variable in the feedback loop. The exit is configured as the SU matrix: Control Output u1.

Pan Loop Configuration

A typical setting for the loop is presented in the following figure. The proportional gain is set at 0.2 and the integral gain at 3.0.

Pan Control Loop

For the Tilt control, an open control loop is sufficient. Joint 2 of gimbal 1 is the entry variable (the desired Tilt angle) and the Zero variable is configured for the feedback loop. The exit is configured as the SU matrix: Control Output u2.

Tilt Loop Configuration

Tilt Control Loop

The last step of the Veronte Ground configuration is the Sniffer setting. Configuring a new Sniffer means allowing the Ground Station (UAV 255) knowing the Veronte Air (UAV 1) position during flight and associating it with the Object of Interest number 2.

Sniffer Ground Configuration

Veronte Air Configuration

The configuration of Veronte Air includes only one step which is the Data Link configuration. The new Data Link has to be defined as showed in the following image: the variable to send is the Position and the receiver address has to be set on 255 (Veronte Ground) with a frequency of 10.0 Hz.

Data Link Veronte Air Configuration

Tracking Operation

In order to activate the tracking, the user must follow some steps. First of all, it is necessary to configure the Tracker (Veronte Ground) position on the map. To do this it is sufficient to go in the Veronte Ground Panel, open the Run Task and then the Command Position window.

Tracker Position configuration

In this panel, it is necessary to insert the tracker position. The user can perform this action inserting Latitude and Longitude values manually or directly clicking on the Map location. The tracker altitude has to be defined too: normally, the tracker tripod is set at 1.20/1.40 [m] so this value has to be inserted in the AGL altitude.

This action doesn’t include the yaw initial orientation of the tracker. To introduce this information, it is possible to open the Command Yaw panel from the Ground Panel Run Task (as in the position case).

Tracker Orientation configuration

When Veronte Tracker is completely positioned, it is possible to activate the tracking. To do this it is necessary to open the Gimbal panel from the Ground Veronte Panel and:

  • Insert the Payload number as the one in the Veronte Ground Devices configuration.
  • Click on “Location” in order to make the tracker following a position data.
  • Click on “Longitude and Latitude” to configure the position type.
  • Select the “Relative” option and the Object of Interest number 2 (Veronte Air in this case).
  • Let the East, North and Down offsets at zero.

Start Tracking

When the configuration is complete, it is sufficient to Send the information and the tracking action will begin.

Note: It is possible to test the correct tracking by moving the Veronte Air (or the platform if it is possible) and checking the tracker correspondent rotation in Pan and Tilt. To perform this test it is useful to maintain the UAV at > 20 [m] from the Ground Station because of the bad transmission link in case of small distances.