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Mechatronic Expertise Aids Development of High Slew Transportable Antenna

“Gary’s specialization in motion control and his staffs’ complementing capabilities in system engineering and software development are very useful to my company and ideal for the type of products we make.

Summary

InMechaSol served on a multi-tiered partnership in the development of a transportable antenna capable of tracking dynamic targets. 

The Situation 



 




 
 
As part of a multi-tiered partnership, AvL Technologies was contracted to convert a geo-stationary antenna design to a transportable unit capable of tracking dynamic targets. The project required a complete mechatronic solution—analysis and simulation, product design and component selection, development and implementation, integration, and product support.
 
Jim Dale at AvL Technologies engaged InMechaSol founder and mechatronic engineer, Gary Eades, to assist with the motion control solution for this product. “Gary was a key contributor to the program,” said Dale. “He played a crucial role formulating a motion control solution which entailed working with us to select drive/control components and designing the system to meet the performance specs supplied by our customer.”

The Solution 

 The new high motion, high dynamic transportable antennae design provided a variety of challenges for the InMechaSol team. “The transportable design meant we had to consider inaccuracies or variances in antenna placement,” said Eades. “Since the product needed to track moving targets, we had to define a strategy to estimate the loads that the antenna would see from wind and motion.”

Environmental conditions played an important role in this product design. “All types of environmental conditions had to be planned for from very hot to very cold conditions (60 C to -40C) that might present variables such as wind, snow, rain, sand, salt and more.”
The InMechaSol team was called on to help determine the size of the components to be used in the drive train, procure them and complete the design. Ultimately, they were responsible for creating the control system electronics and software that implemented the full solution and allowed for safe, reliable, accurate and smooth motion to track dynamic targets.

The Results  

“The program took about twice as long as we originally envisioned but Gary was supportive during the program and at the end the customer was delighted with the performance,” said Dale. “InMechaSol played a key role in the high level of satisfaction.”

InMechaSol maintains an ongoing relationship with AvL Technologies. “Gary’s specialization in motion control and his staffs’ complementing capabilities in system engineering and software development are very useful to my company and ideal for the type of products we make,” said Dale.

InMechaSol helps AvL develop an understanding of what’s needed from a programmatic stand point. “We rely on their expertise to guide some of our projects.” 

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