Libirel chooses Hiltron HMAM for RTE satellite link in Ireland

Hiltron has announced the completion of a satellite downlink system for Ireland’ s national public service broadcaster, Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTE). The new resource consists of a 3.7 metre antenna, an HMAM motorised antenna mount and HACU controller. It will be used as a Ku band link receiving video and audio data from multiple sources. The project was managed by Dublin-based system integration specialist Libirel Communications.

“RTE’s engineering managers were wowed by the speed and precision of the HMAM,” commented Libirel Communications’ owner Declan Goulding. “They were also impressed by the compactness of the HMAM, fully prewired and ready for easy installation and connection to the network.

“We have installed the motorised antenna system in the teleport at RTE’s Donnybrook headquarters and connected it to the central L-band router via a 250 metre fibre link. The system we have provided includes a step-track function using satellite beacon. The control interface is connected to the HACU via standard Ethernet and the HMAM is configured for operation from the master control room. We have also provided a Hiltron handheld controller which plugs directly into the HMAM drive electronics.”

Developed and produced by Hiltron, HMAM is a high-precision motorised satellite antenna mount designed for two-way satellite communication or receive-only downlink applications. It can be used for a wide range of applications including broadcast and telecommunication downlinks. An optional motorised feed changer allows the head to be moved quickly to a new position for switching between frequency bands. HMAM comes complete with professional-grade drives for azimuth and elevation plus a high-accuracy polarisation drive. The combined head and drive form a three-axis motorised mount with 180 degrees of azimuth adjustment, 90 degrees of elevation adjustment range and fully adjustable polarisation.

A companion product to HMAM within Hiltron’s SORBAS product range, the HACU is designed to control three-axis motorised antennas. The antenna control unit and associated motor-control electronics are contained in an IP65-rated weatherproof outdoor housing with a hinged front access port secured by dual key screws. The HACU can be operated from a PC running a graphic user interface compatible with standard web browsers. The control GUI displays all the information required to set and maintain azimuth, elevation and polarisation, including current and target positions plus a database of potential accessible satellites.

Declan Goulding is one of Ireland’s leading video and audio solutions engineers. After graduating, he started his long television industry career with RTE. A ten-year spell followed at Windmill Lane Pictures. After projects in Ireland, including the introduction of broadcasting facilities to the Irish Parliament, work moved farther a field, to the Far East. In Hong Kong, work was carried out for Star TV and ABN among others. Subsequent projects have been carried out in Eastern Europe, Northern Africa and England.

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