The Aptus PC software is compatible with all Intellian VSAT antennas and can also be used with its 3-Axis TVRO systems. The software is connected via the onboard network, allowing for use with an onboard PC through a one-click installation process.
This then allows for a straightforward IP connection over the internet to the antenna from anywhere in the world for set-up, as well as providing continuous antenna status reporting to maintain the performance of the antenna as well as debug the system. There is also an in-built auto-diagnostic function that can connect to the VSAT ACU by serial or USB cable.
The software displays data via a graphical dashboard that allows logging, recording and fine-tuning of the antenna for optimum performance.
Through logging of the antenna’s parameters, both the user and integrator can monitor the system and see performance in real-time. This data logging and performance monitoring will also help the integrator to track the status of all antennas operating on their system.
The Aptus dashboard provides three main views to monitor and control the antenna; Quick, File and View.
These different views provide varying levels of information, such as graphical antenna position, set-up data including sensor inputs, satellite information including tracking frequency and LNB setting, graphs illustrating the signal, heading and elevation angles, and a monitor listing all data that is being received by the ACU.
The Quick Menu includes set-up, restart, and reboot antenna information as well as a 'save satellite' function. Information including antenna details, TX status, signal level and GPS and heading information is shown.
The File Menu also shows the individual backup, restore and load configuration functions.
Intellian says that using the data provided by the graphical interface can contribute to improved operational up-time, with icons that show details such as the antenna azimuth and elevation including the visual representation of any blockage zones on board the vessel.
When installing an Intellian VSAT antenna, Aptus can also help with the initial set-up and automatically set the appropriate Bow, Cross Level and Elevation offsets.
In related news, Intellian has also announced the launch of its Intellian Fiber Link system, a single fibre optic cable used to connect an Intellian satcom antenna (VSAT or TVRO) to below deck systems.
Previous connections have been carried out with multiple coaxial cables which are more difficult to install, heavier and less effective than fibre optic. The new Intellian Fiber Link combines several RF signals into a single fibre optic cable, which the company says provides “virtually no signal loss for either VSAT or TV reception.”
Intellian says that its own testing regime has shown the new Fiber Link cable to register no signal loss over a 2km run, essentially allowing a virtually limitless cable run when installing equipment on ship.
The system requires just two modules to effect connection, a Below Deck Unit which connects to the Antenna Control Unit and modem, with the Above Deck Unit mounted inside the radome base.