P15571: Sun Tracker


P15571 Sun Tracker Summary Project Information

An autonomous solar tracking antenna is a device that accurately tracks the sun and collects RF emission data. This allows for valuable data to be collected by the antenna throughout the entire day without human intervention. This data is collected all over the world and sent to a central server in Switzerland. Currently, there is a blind spot for RF emission data on the east coast of the United States. A 7 foot dish in Ionia, New York has been installed to cover this blind spot. However, the current design does not provide autonomous tracking and instead requires manually adjustments for both seasonal changes and daily tracking.

The purpose of the this project is to control the aiming of the antenna towards the sun through the use of a mechanical system that can be operated both autonomously and manually. The expected end result of the project is a fully functional system that can collect RF emission data year round. The designed system must work with the dish currently installed in Ionia, New York and handle the weather conditions faced in that area.

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Project Name
Sun Tracker
Project Number
Project Family
Printing and Imaging Systems
Start Term
2014 Fall
End Term
2014 Spring
Faculty Guide
George Slack, gbseee@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Martin Pepe, mjpastro@gmail.com
Sponsor (financial support)
Mark Smith, mwspd21@rit.edu

Current Status

The team is currently in the final stages of MSD II. The dish has been installed in Ionia and is awaiting a few software and mechanical changes before becoming fully operational. For pictures of the team at work visit the Photo Gallery.

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Team Members

From left to right: Harrison, Victor, Jason, Martin Pepe, Jacob, Tyler, Craig, Patrick

From left to right: Harrison, Victor, Jason, Martin Pepe, Jacob, Tyler, Craig, Patrick

Member Role Contact
Craig Bishop Mechanical Engineer cab9415@rit.edu
Harrison Sprague Mechanical Engineer - Team Lead hws8137@rit.edu
Jason Yeh Electrical Engineer jcy6493@rit.edu
Jacob Halstead Computer Engineer jah1962@rit.edu
Patrick Chiu Electrical Engineer pxc3555@rit.edu
Tyler Nicholson Electrical Engineer ten3992@rit.edu
Victor Thu Electrical Engineer kmt5779@rit.edu

Table of Contents


Photo Gallery

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Sub-Systems Design

Detailed Design

Photo Gallery

Planning & Execution

Build and Test




The team would like to thank the following people for there help in the design of the Sun Tracker system:

Planning & Execution | Problem Definition | Systems Design | Sub-Systems Design | Detailed Design | Build and Test | Presentations | Documents | Photo Gallery