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Hiltron Announces Ongoing Technical Innovation Throughout 2023

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Hiltron Communications has reported ongoing technical innovation throughout 2023.

Recent additions to the wide range of Hiltron-developed systems were the HMAM LEO motorised satcom flyaway, latest generation HDCU2 satellite antenna de-icing sensor and heating controller and recently announced Drive-Away transportable satellite link. In the area of research and development, Hiltron has been awarded an incentive from the state of Baden-Württemberg. This relates to a future-oriented project which will expand the HMAM product portfolio to include full LEO capability (HMAM X-Y-Mount) in a fixed system supporting antennas of up to 2.5 metres diameter.

Promoted at the GovSatCom conference in Luxembourg, February 2023, Hiltron's HMAM LEO motorised satcom flyaway is capable of accommodating parabolic antennas of up to 2.4 metres diameter. This incorporates the computing resources needed to track satellites using the NORAD TLE (two-line element) data format which defines satellite locations based on their location and velocity. The flyaway can lock onto the desired LEO satellite within the approximately 10 minute timespan where the target satellite is in sight. HMAM LEO systems can be specified from a wide range of options. The HMAM LEO mount can be controlled and oriented within more than 360 degrees of azimuth and 80 degrees of elevation at the required tracking speed. All elements of the antenna control unit are accommodated inside a weatherproofed outdoor housing. Control and monitoring are performed through an Ethernet link with a web interface or via a directly connected handheld unit. HMAM LEO is fully compatible with Hiltron’s HSACU4 compact antenna control unit, designed specifically for use with flyaway antennas.

Hiltron's HDCU2 de-icing sensor and heating controller made its first European exhibition showing at the September 2023 International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam. "The HDCU2 is developed from our HDCU and HDCU-E heating controllers which are performing well in many locations around the world," said Hiltron Project Manager Guy Van Bambeke. "Accommodating satcom antennas of up to 3 metres diameter, it provides IP66 protection against heavy rain or snow. Heating circuits of up to 2.3 kilowatts can be monitored and controlled. The complete unit occupies a compact 180 x 180 x 90 mm weatherproof housing and is rated for operation in environments of -30 to +50 degrees Celsius at 5% to 95% non-condensing humidity. Conforming fully to the relevant CE safety, EMC, emissions and immunity standards, the complete unit has a standby power consumption of just 4 watts."

Most recent addition to the Hiltron product range is the Drive-Away transportable satellite link. Designed for use in applications requiring very high precision uplink, downlink or bi-directional connectivity, this new system comprises a 3.7 metre diameter segmented parabolic reflector on a specially developed motorised steering mount. The entire unit, including control electronics plus antenna heating and de-icing, is housed on a 2.4 metre wide rigid platform. An onboard loading crane allows the platform to be loaded easily onto a standard container truck. Other ground fixings are possible on request. All related electronics are housed in a weatherproof steel cabinet. System supervision is via Hiltron’s HACU4 antenna control unit with an additional fully monitored antenna heater option for operating under snow and ice conditions. The Hiltron Drive-Away is built to withstand standard atmospheric pollutants and to operate from zero to 95 per cent humidity over a temperature range of 35 Celsius (optionally 55) down to -25 Celsius. It can also be specified to withstand pollutants such as salt encountered in coastal and industrial areas.

Among major projects completed during the year was a satellite television uplink for one of Germany’s largest public service broadcasters. This encompassed the design, planning, installation and commissioning of a dual redundant HPA system feeding a 3.7 metre TV uplink antenna. Each system (one for horizontal and one for vertical polarisation) is based on two 750 watt traveling-wave tube amplifiers in a 1:1 redundant configuration. An integral phase combiner allows the active amplifiers to transmit in tandem if higher output power is required. Supervision and operation are performed via a Hiltron HCS4 satellite communications controller. A compact fully air-conditioned shelter was also provided by Hiltron to ensure a high level of weather protection. The shelter is equipped with air intake and exhaust ducts which can be used to perform forced-air cooling of the amplifiers. The cooling system is itself configured with main-plus-secondary protection. Motorised vents allow warm exhaust air to be directed into the shelter to heat the shelter in winter.

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