|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.
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.
- RadioEyes communicates through the custom drivers and controls the dish properly.
- Software was tested for two full-day runs and the dish tracked the sun within error.
- Work is currently being done to fix a bug with auto-calibration.
- Main power "kill-switch" has been installed and tested.
- Slewing drive limit switches have been wired to stop rotation in respective directions.
- A custom PCB with a D flip-flop was implemented to remove noise in the hall effect feedback lines.
- Shielded cabling was also used to reduce motor noise.
- A limit switch has been added to the linear actuator to prevent over-retraction.
- The dish has been moved from RIT to Ionia and installed on the final post.
- Parts have been painted and rust-proofed.
- Rubber skirts and conduit have been installed to protect switches and wires from animals/weather.
- A future trip is scheduled to finish mounting enclosures to the post and securing wires.
|Craig Bishop||Mechanical Engineerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Harrison Sprague||Mechanical Engineer - Team Leademail@example.com|
|Jason Yeh||Electrical Engineerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jacob Halstead||Computer Engineeremail@example.com|
|Patrick Chiu||Electrical Engineerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Tyler Nicholson||Electrical Engineeremail@example.com|
|Victor Thu||Electrical Engineerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Table of Contents
|MSD I||MSD II|
AcknowledgementsThe team would like to thank the following people for there help in the design of the Sun Tracker system:
- Professor Slack, Guide and EE SME.
- Mr. Pepe, our customer.
- James Stefano, EE SME.
- Professor Hopkins, EE SME.
- Dr. Leipold, ME SME.
- Dr. Landschoot, ME SME.
- Prof. Hanzlik, ME SME.
- Dave and Rob in the machine shop,ME team materials, machining, and design feedback.