Satellite tracking

So I'm trying to buil a satellite tracking device I've already made a 3D Model of how I should look like mechanically


mechanically vise is theoretically okay but now I'm getting into software / hardware. Since the system needs to be portable I need a GPS receiver but now I need to track X and Z and I would like some help to choose components I already have

  • NEMA17 Motors
  • Adafruit Motor Shield
  • GPS Module

So I'm asking can any of you give me some recomendation on what to buy

Portable so you need a powersuply.
How are you planning to "tell" the arduino where to point to so you can follow the satellite?

Via a portable computer with tracking software on it It will tell the arduino the Azimuth And Elevation to be at. Alimentation isn't really a problem

TurtleForGaming:
So I'm asking can any of you give me some recomendation on what to buy

No recommendations.

You need to tell us what you mean by 'Satellite tracking' and what the purpose of the project is.

A picture of some gears is just a picture of some gears, what they are used for we cannot know.

NEMA17 Motors

That tells us the physical size of the motors, nothing else. What is the rated coil current? Are they bipolar motors? A data sheet for the motors would answer the questions.

Adafruit Motor Shield

There are better stepper drivers than that shield, but without knowing the coil current can't recommend any specific drivers.

What does the GPS do for the project? You should already know exactly where you are.

now I need to track X and Z

Satellite and telescope trackers use an angular coordinate system, like altitude and azimuth, not X and Z.

srnet:
You need to tell us what you mean by 'Satellite tracking' and what the purpose of the project is.

What I mean with satellite tracking is an anttenna following the path of the satellite when it's visible so I can get data out of it

groundFungus:
That tells us the physical size of the motors, nothing else. What is the rated coil current? Are they bipolar motors?

Acctualy I don't really know I salvage them on a spectacle robot where the motors controlled an mirror to direct the light beam. But with the worm gear it's strong enouth. As for the adafruit motor shield I knwo that there are better alternative but for testing I will be using that

jremington:
What does the GPS do for the project? You should already know exactly where you are.
Satellite and telescope trackers use an angular coordinate system, like altitude and azimuth, not X and Z.

Well I want my portable system to do all calculation on the arduino side as so I think that the arduino need to know it's exact position in order to calculate where how to elevate the anttenna. And I already done a bit of research before posting here and I know that that satellite uses altitude and azimuth I just wrote X and Z.

But I'm not really asking for all this, I'm asking for what sensor to use to be able to do the calculation properly

Are you saying you are trying to optically track the satellite?

No but obvioulsy I'm not gonna track it when it at the oposite of me(like i'm in france and the satellite is only visible in china (for example))

I'm asking for what sensor to use to be able to do the calculation properly

So what do you mean by that?
What do you mean by "sensor"?

Hi,
How will you know where your aerial is pointed?
What precision do you need in your movements?

What is the aerial, its mass, its reception pattern?
These will have a major influence over your mechanical design?

The aerial pattern will dictate the precision, increment of the az/el angles.

If the PC is calculating the az/el, then yes an Arduino could control the two motors.

Tom... :slight_smile:

AWOL:
So what do you mean by that?
What do you mean by "sensor"?

Like what the best sensor for an compass, etc ...

TomGeorge:
Hi,
How will you know where your aerial is pointed?
What precision do you need in your movements?

What is the aerial, its mass, its reception pattern?
These will have a major influence over your mechanical design?

The aerial pattern will dictate the precision, increment of the az/el angles.

If the PC is calculating the az/el, then yes an Arduino could control the two motors.

Tom... :slight_smile:

Well I was planing to just send the Az/El directly to an arduino mega with a software like orbitron.
For precision as long as I can get a clear signal comming from the satellite It's ok.
And the rest Is a lot of good question that I don't really understand

TurtleForGaming:
Well I was planing to just send the Az/El directly to an arduino mega with a software like orbitron.

Am I understanding you right? You are planning to send the position of a satellite from a PC to the Arduino and then use the Arduino to slave an Aerial sitting on top of your little mechanism controlled by motors so that it points to the satellite..

Hi,

Well I was planing to just send the Az/El directly to an arduino mega with a software like orbitron.

When to turn it ON, how do you know what az/el the aerial is pointed in?

Is the PC software going to give absolute angles of az/el?
Which means you need some sort of feedback from the actuator so it knows where it is.

Is the PC software sending HOW much to move the az/el?
Which means you need feedback to make sure the actuators do not try and go passed their mechanical stops.

Are you going to make the aerial do a scan to find the satellite?
If you want to use a magnetometer to setup initial conditions, you will need to take into account the difference between celestial north and mag north.

Tom... :slight_smile:

TurtleForGaming:
What I mean with satellite tracking is an anttenna following the path of the satellite when it's visible so I can get data out of it

........

But I'm not really asking for all this, I'm asking for what sensor to use to be able to do the calculation properly

Amateurs have been using such systems for years. They are very substantial bit of hardware, it needs a lot of torque to move the (potentially) large directional antennas fast enough.

You also need a thorough understanding of how to setup and link the actual tracking software (runs an a PC normally) to the antenna rotator.

And why you would want to link up a GPS, I do not know, these antenna rotator setups are normally used at a fixed location.

Lots of plans to be found on how to do this, try a Google search.

TurtleForGaming:
Like what the best sensor for an compass, etc ...

Well I was planing to just send the Az/El directly to an arduino mega with a software like orbitron.
For precision as long as I can get a clear signal comming from the satellite It's ok.
And the rest Is a lot of good question that I don't really understand

Unless the directional antenna is very large (for large gain) then you would be far better off using a high gain omni, they dont need tracking at all, no GPS, no Compass, no tracking software or PC controller needed, highly portable too.

The size of directional antenna that would be a significant improvement over a good omni is going to need some seriously powerful motors to drive it, and making this sort of setup 'portable' is not going to be that easy.

stowite:
Am I understanding you right? You are planning to send the position of a satellite from a PC to the Arduino and then use the Arduino to slave an Aerial sitting on top of your little mechanism controlled by motors so that it points to the satellite..

Yes

TomGeorge:
Hi,
When to turn it ON, how do you know what az/el the aerial is pointed in?

Is the PC software going to give absolute angles of az/el?
Which means you need some sort of feedback from the actuator so it knows where it is.

Is the PC software sending HOW much to move the az/el?
Which means you need feedback to make sure the actuators do not try and go passed their mechanical stops.

Are you going to make the aerial do a scan to find the satellite?
If you want to use a magnetometer to setup initial conditions, you will need to take into account the difference between celestial north and mag north.

Tom... :slight_smile:

Orbitron is sending absolute coordinates and that's the question WHAT sensor does I need to use to know the azimuth and Elevation that I'm pointing (like 3axis compass). And why would I need to scan to find the satellite if the computer is giving me it's position

srnet:
And why you would want to link up a GPS, I do not know, these antenna rotator setups are normally used at a fixed location.

That's why i mention portable

srnet:
Unless the directional antenna is very large (for large gain) then you would be far better off using a high gain omni, they dont need tracking at all, no GPS, no Compass, no tracking software or PC controller needed, highly portable too.

The size of directional antenna that would be a significant improvement over a good omni is going to need some seriously powerful motors to drive it, and making this sort of setup 'portable' is not going to be that easy.

That's not the point I want to try to make this as a project I don't care if it fail I just want to try the challenge

One last try. You are lookingking for censors is what i understand

What I don't understand is what you want to figure out work those sensors.

If you want to know temperature you look for a temperature censor. But, I can not fugure out WHAT you are looking for. If we don't know what you are looking for we can not tell you what you could use for it

A sensor that can give me Azimuth and elevation of my anttenna

Hi,
To get your assembly to track correctly, you will have to level the base like is done with laser leveling and theodolite devices.

If you have a leveled base and knowing where geograghical north/south is, you can use encoders on the two axis drives to read angle from or either side of zero degrees.

The resolution of the encoders will dictate the accuracy of the direction.

Absolute encoders would be ideal, but expensive, relative encoders would do the job if you did an initial sweep on start up to find a reference position.

Tom... :slight_smile: