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EPAK launches new generation of automatic tracking satellite antennas

EPAK is launching a new generation of antennas as part of its PRO series EPAK is launching a new generation of antennas as part of its PRO series

EPAK, manufacturer of maritime antenna systems is launching a new generation of antennas as part of its PRO series.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"} The antennas will benefit from:

  • Easy switching to 3G/ 4G network
  • Robust construction with additional roll axis for extended range of motion
  • Speed of 50°/s per axis for a stable connection in rough seas
  • Very high tracking accuracy for optimal signal quality
  • Equipped with powerful transmitter units
  • Web interface for configuration and performance analysis
  • Help Desk and technical support by manufacturer‘s experts

EPAK reports that the antennas of the PRO generation can be controlled via smart phone, tablet or PC. Extensive configurations can be made via the web interface and live sensor data from the antenna can be displayed. This simplifies troubleshooting, enables performance analysis around the clock and eventually reduces the need for maintenance. Remote diagnostics and troubleshooting are carried out by EPAK experts at any time and free of charge.

Additional features include two SIM card slots in the ACU, allowing easy switching between the satellite connection and the low-cost 3G/4G network when it becomes available.

A fourth motion axis has also been integrated into the PRO series antennas to make tracking faster and more flexible. Mechanical design and electronic control are precisely synchronised. Through gyro position sensors and readings from the satellite signal, the control unit receives information about how the position of the antenna (or the ship underneath it) has changed. Complex mathematical algorithms then calculate the required counter-movement and control the motors. This process happens within milliseconds and continues in a loop of repetitions. As a result, the antenna can move at a rate of 50° per second per axis. This is fully sufficient to maintain a stable satellite connection even in extreme sea conditions.

EPAK says that speed was a key concern in development, not just in the mobility of the antenna. Using state-of-the-art electronics made it possible to achieve significant optimisation in the communication between modem, antenna and controller. Another key factor for the performance is tracking accuracy, because as soon as the antenna is not perfectly aligned with the satellite, the signal quality drops.

"The PRO series is a major milestone in the history of our company. EPAK has been on the market for 20 years and is therefore one of the pioneers in   maritime   satellite   communication.   With   the   new   antenna   and   the resulting application possibilities, further market segments can be opened up. Marlink, one of the world's largest providers of maritime connectivity, has already tested the new PRO antenna and approved it for its network,” said managing director Jochen Grüner. {/mprestriction}

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Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


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