One of the Eclipse Ballooning Project’s main goals was to stream live video of the eclipse to the internet. To accomplish this task a tracking antenna was built to follow the balloon payload. As an added challenge, the task had to be completed on a budget. The “ground station” is the center for communication between the payload and user. This system utilizes GPS position reports from the payload via the iridium network to determine the balloons position. The computer algorithm takes in additional GPS and IMU data from the ground station to determine a relative heading to orientate the antenna to point at the balloon payload. The heading and pitch are controlled with independent servos. These subsystems all jointly interact to keep the antenna pointed at the balloon to within a few degrees or the communication would be lost.
How to Cite:
Hilton, G. & McIver, C. & Hamby, S. & Gahl, T. & Coffman, C. & Schwehr, D., (2017) “Ground Station Tracking System”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2017(1). doi: https://doi.org//ahac.9762