Dartcom

HRPT/AHRPT System

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Reliable, high performance land-based and marine solutions for receiving, archiving, processing and displaying HRPT, AHRPT, DMSP and LRD data from NOAA, Metop, FengYun-3, DMSP and JPSS satellites.

The Dartcom HRPT/AHRPT System receives, archives, processes and displays data from NOAA and Metop satellites, and optionally FengYun-3 (L-Band) and DMSP (S-Band). A number of land-based antennas are available (1.8m, 1.2m and radome-enclosed 1.5m) or for marine use a radome-enclosed 1.3m antenna with active stabilisation can be specified.

Ingested data can be viewed and processed using the Dartcom iDAP/MacroPro software.  Outputs are also available for popular image processing software packages such as PCI Geomatica, ERDAS IMAGINE and ENVI/IDL, as well as standard interchange formats such as NOAA level 1B, EPS level 0 and GeoTIFF.

Direct broadcast LRIT reception from MSG, GOES, MTSAT and COMS-1 is also possible with optional extra hardware and software.

The hardware itself is LRD ready, requiring only firmware and software updates to support the proposed JPSS L-Band service.

The system comprises the following main components:

Dartcom can also provide on-site installation and training services, and supply additional PCs and other peripherals.

  • Automatic reception, archiving and processing of data from NOAA HRPT and Metop AHRPT polar-orbiting satellites.
  • Optional USB interface module, additional LRD-100 digital multi-mode receiver and XRIT Ingester software to also allow reception of MSG, GOES, MTSAT and COMS-1 LRIT data between satellite passes, or continuously with an optional dedicated LRIT antenna.
  • Optional LRD-200B receiver to also allow FengYun-3 L-Band reception, plus LRIT between satellite passes, all with one receiver.
  • Optional L/S-band feed/LNB to allow S-Band DMSP reception.
  • Only requires firmware and software updates to support JPSS LRD.
  • Proven, robust, reliable hardware and software, with installations all over the world in all climates, temperatures and environments.
  • Modular construction for easy maintenance and future upgrades.
  • Comprehensive hardware and software diagnostics at all levels.

Antenna options

The 1.2m, 1.8m and radome-enclosed 1.5m antennas are designed for fixed, land-based ground stations. The 1.3m active-stabilised marine antenna uses a state-of-the-art active stabilisation system to compensate for the pitch, roll and yaw of a moving vessel.

Software

  • Dartcom Polar Orbiter Ingester – provides automatic satellite tracking, data ingesting, archiving and output.
  • Dartcom iDAP – provides a comprehensive range of display, manipulation, processing and printing facilities.
  • Dartcom MacroPro – automates the powerful processing facilities provided by iDAP.

All antenna options provide continuous tracking of satellites with no “cone of silence” (data loss at high elevations). A state-of-the-art dual-axis rotator controller with closed-loop feedback gives excellent pointing accuracy and smooth tracking. An RS-232–RS-422 link allows the ingest PC to control the rotator and provide diagnostics.

The reflector is a prime focus aluminium parabolic dish finished in matt white paint (RAL 9010). An integrated feed/downconverter (IFD) is mounted at the focal point in a hermetically sealed unit.

1.2m parabolic dish and rotator

The 1.2m antenna has a 0.38 F/D ratio and 24.4dBi gain to achieve a system G/T of better than 2.6dBK at 1.7GHz and 5° elevation, and a bit error rate of better than 1:106 from 3.5° elevation.

The dish is fixed to the rotator using a counter-weighted aluminium frame assembly. The rotator is a compact unit with a separate housing for the power supply and controller. The dish and rotator assembly is mounted on a galvanised steel pedestal.

1.8m parabolic dish and rotator

The 1.8m antenna has a 0.42 F/D ratio and 27.5dBi gain to achieve a G/T of better than 6.0dBK at 5° elevation, and a bit error rate of better than 1:106 from 1° elevation.

The dish is fixed to the rotator using interface steelwork galvanised to BS729. The rotator is precision engineered using aluminium castings and machined steel for strength. The controller is mounted inside the rotator with a seperate remote housing for the power supply. The dish and rotator assembly is mounted on a durable galvanised steel pedestal.

1.5m radome-enclosed parabolic dish and rotator

The 1.5m antenna has a 0.36 F/D ratio and 26.0dBi gain to achieve a system G/T of better than 4.3dBK at 1.7GHz and 5° elevation, and a bit error rate of better than 1:106 from 2° elevation. This antenna allows future upgrade to receive X-Band data from Terra, Aqua, Suomi-NPP and FengYun-3.

The dish is fixed to the rotator using a counter-weighted aluminium frame assembly. The rotator is a compact unit with a separate housing for the power supply and controller. The dish and rotator assembly is mounted on a zinc plated, powder coated steel pedestal and enclosed in a two-part (plus base) composite radome with inspection hatch on the bottom or side.

This antenna is designed to track polar-orbiting satellites on moving vessels using a state-of-the-art active-stabilised X-Y pedestal to compensate for pitch, roll and yaw. It has continuous axis movement to eliminate cable wrap problems without slip-rings or rotary joints. Together with the pedestal’s high speed and accuracy this ensures no “cone of silence” (data loss at high elevations).

The antenna has a 0.35 F/D ratio and 24.7dBi gain (S-band 27dBiC) to achieve a system G/T of better than 3.4dBK at 1.7GHz and 4.7dB/K at 2.252GHz, both at 5° elevation, and a bit error rate of better than 1:106 from 3.5° elevation.

The reflector is a 1.3m diameter prime focus aluminium parabolic dish finished in light grey paint (RAL 7044). An integrated feed/downconverter (IFD) is mounted at the focal point in a hermetically sealed unit – see Land-Based Antennas for specifications.

The dish and pedestal assembly is mounted inside a weather-tight glass fibre radome and base with access hatch.

The antenna control unit (ACU) is located below decks in a 19” equipment rack with the receiver rack, ingest PC, UPS and network switch. The ACU provides fully automatic control of the pedestal using an advanced stabilisation algorithm. Full diagnostics and maintenance facilities are available on a colour TFT screen.

This antenna is ISO9001/CE certified and has been designed to meet or exceed military standard (MIL-STD) specifications.

The receiver rack is supplied as standard with a single LRD-100 digital multi-mode receiver to provide reception of NOAA HRPT and Metop AHRPT data.

If continuous LRIT reception is also required, an additional LRD-100 receiver and USB interface module can be fitted, together with a dedicated antenna and XRIT Ingester software.  Alternatively a single LRD-200B digital multi-mode receiver can be supplied to provide HRPT, AHRPT and FengYun-3 L-Band reception, with LRIT reception between satellite passes.

If DMSP reception is required an additional USB interface can be fitted to the receiver rack. However LRIT reception is then not possible unless a separate Dartcom USB LRIT receiver is supplied.

To support the proposed JPSS LRD service the digital multi-mode receivers will require a firmware upgrade, but apart from that the receiver rack is LRD ready.

Ingest and processing software for HRPT, AHRPT, LRD, DMSP, Terra, Aqua, NPP and FengYun-3 data.

The Dartcom Polar Orbiter Ingester software is supplied as part of the Dartcom X-Band EOS System and HRPT/AHRPT System. It automatically ingests, archives and outputs data from NOAA, Metop, DMSP, Terra, Aqua, Suomi-NPP and FengYun-3 polar-orbiting satellites. Ingested data can be output to a range of different formats. HRPT, AHRPT and DMSP data can then be displayed, processed, printed and exported using the Dartcom iDAP/MacroPro software.

Features

  • Multi-threaded architecture allowing ingest of a pass while the previous one is being processed.
  • Fully compatible with 64-bit Windows.
  • Automatic schedule calculation with manual editing facilities and data type prioritisation.
  • Automatic satellite tracking, ingest, archiving and output, plus automatic calibration and navigation of HRPT, AHRPT and DMSP data.
  • Output of Terra, Aqua and NPP data to RT-STPS software via TCP socket.
  • Output of FengYun-3 data to FY3L0pp software.
  • Automatic GPS position and time updates.
  • Automatic downloading and updating of satellite prediction data.
  • LRD support will be added in a future upgrade.

Satellite tracking

  • Automatic calculation of pass schedule covering up to 15 days, with parameters including satellite selections, time windows, latitude limits and data type prioritisation.
  • Manual schedule editing, with changes saved to disk automatically.
  • Graphical and numerical display of satellite position, station position, pass swathes (areas of coverage) and sun coverage.
  • Automatic satellite tracking, with dedicated thread for minimum latency and maximum update frequency.
  • Configurable antenna parking mode to allow ingest of LRIT/HRIT data with optional Dartcom XRIT Ingester software.
  • PC time automatically synchronised within 20ms of GPS time for accurate tracking.
  • Station position automatically synchronised with GPS, and pass schedule recalculated automatically if significant movement detected.
  • Automatic downloading and updating of satellite prediction data from the internet.

Data ingest

  • HRPT, CCSDS, DMSP and X-Band ingest engines supporting HRPT, AHRPT, DMSP, Terra, Aqua, NPP and FengYun-3 data.
  • Automatic receiver control and data ingest, with multi-threaded architecture for minimum latency and maximum throughput.
  • Calibration and navigation of HRPT, AHRPT and DMSP data.
  • Live preview displayed during HRPT, AHRPT and DMSP ingest, with automatic post-ingest enhancement and creation of map overlays.

Archiving and output

  • Automatic archiving of ingested data for up to 366 days with the option to group passes into folders by date.
  • Output of HRPT, AHRPT and DMSP image data to Dartcom iDAP/MacroPro software for display, processing, printing and exporting.
  • Output of HRPT data to NOAA level 1B and other raw formats, together with ancillary data such as TIP and DCS.
  • Output of AHRPT data to EPS level 0 format.
  • Output of HRPT, AHRPT and DMSP image data to reprojected PCI Geomatica, ERDAS IMAGINE, ENVI/IDL and GeoTIFF formats.
  • Output of Terra, Aqua and NPP data to NASA RT-STPS software via TCP socket, and FengYun-3 data to CMA FY3L0pp software.

Diagnostics and maintenance

  • Access control and password locking to prevent tampering.
  • Event logging with disk space monitoring and on-screen and email alarms for serious events.
  • Manual rotator control with detailed diagnostics displays, sun track mode, exercise mode and calibration facilities.
  • Support for the optional Dartcom HRPT simulator module.

Integrated display and processing software for satellite imagery and meteorological data with automatic macro processor.

The Dartcom iDAP software allows images, animations and charts received by all Dartcom ingest systems to be displayed and processed with one fully-featured program. The Dartcom MacroPro software automates the powerful facilities provided by iDAP.

iDAP includes a wide range of professional-quality facilities for displaying, processing, printing and exporting images without compromising ease-of-use or accessibility. QuickTime™ technology provides smooth, high-quality animations with editing facilities.

MacroPro allows processing macros to be set up and run on images automatically when new data is received by their associated ingest system.

Features of iDAP and MacroPro include:

  • Handling of HRPT, AHRPT, DMSP, LRITHRIT and GVAR data.
  • Creation of formula-based products such as SST, LST, NDVI and cloud
  • Cartographic reprojection with masking, slicing to extract clouds, and mosaic creation.
  • Blue Marble and DEM masking with slicing to extract clouds and variable opacity.
  • Comprehensive processing facilities such as enhancement, sharpening and edge extraction.
  • Exporting to PCI Geomatica, ERDAS IMAGINE, ENVI/IDL, GeoTIFF, EPS level 0, NOAA level 1B and other formats.

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