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QUASONIX CONNECTION Volume 2, Issue 1

In this issue:

Eglin Antenna Award

Offering greater capabilities at lower cost

antenna-vol2-issue1-768x140

What did you get for Christmas? Quasonix received an Air Force contract for up to 19 telemetry autotrack antennas. It was a big box.
 
Eglin AFB selected Quasonix in a competitive best value procurement based on performance, capabilities, and experience for TAS (Telemetry Antenna Systems), including systems of 1.8m, 2.4m, 3m, 5m, and 7.3m. 

“Quasonix has already been recognized as the clear leader in the telemetry transmitter and receiver market sectors. This award is an acknowledgment by the USAF that this leadership has now carried over into the antenna sector”, said Terry Hill, president of Quasonix.

These antennas will be delivered with a treasure trove of advanced features including: 

  • Advanced tri-band E-scan feeds
  • Improved cassegrain design with vertex positioned feed
  • Hypertrack accurate digital tracking
  • Advantageous use of new SEGR and IRIG DQM and DQE
  • New interference filtering and mitigation
  • Advanced Target Simulation
  • New Ground Station Analyzer
  • iNet compatibility
  • EVTM (Ethernet Via Telemetry)
  • TDD (Time Division Duplex uplink)
  • Remote system management and
  • Critical security advancements

This game-changing compilation of advanced new antenna features will move telemetry range tracking antennas to a whole new level and benefit a wide range of other customers beyond just the Air Force.

Telemetry Pioneer

Advancing the industry

This year’s ITC (International Telemetering Conference) Pioneer Award was presented to the president and founder of Quasonix, Terry Hill.

Terry has spent the better part of 20 years in and around the telemetry world. He brought a background of communication engineering coupled with hardware design that was not seen in the telemetry community before. He proposed, developed, and fielded telemetry technologies allowing the telemetry community to progress toward spectrally efficient waveforms and the mitigation technologies standardized in IRIG 106.

Terry’s work in telemetry started with the invention of the SOQPSK waveform and its implementation in transmitters. He also developed an ARTM Continuous Phase Modulation scheme and a Multi-Symbol Detection for PCMFM to further improve spectral efficiency. More recently, he has worked on defining a data quality metric that functions without a priori knowledge of the data, vital for implementing diversity for the purpose of combating multipath. Terry continues to be an innovator, leader, and educator of the next generation of telemetry engineers.

In his acceptance speech, Terry noted, “The award has my name on it, and I’m immensely grateful and honored, but I have to say, I need to share it. Yes, I’ve had some good ideas over the years, but without the team that I work with – that’s the engineering team, manufacturing, testing, the sales team – everyone who takes those ideas and turns them into real products – well, they would just be ideas.” We at Quasonix are proud to be part of the success and continuous innovation Terry inspires, meeting real-world problems with real hardware solutions.

New transmitter test lab

Delivering the highest-quality products faster

Wide shot of multiple Quasonix transmitter test stations, showing an efficient side-by-side arrangement with easy access to each.

Every Quasonix transmitter goes through extensive testing before being shipped. That includes examining RF Power Output, Current Draw, Efficiency, Frequency Error, Power Spectral Density (PSD) Plots, and Bit Error Rate (BER). All of these measurements are completed at a variety of frequencies and over the operating temperature of each transmitter, typically from -40°C, +40°C, and +85°C. As a result, automated testing (ATP, or Acceptance Test Procedure) alone takes 5-15 hours per transmitter, with additional manual inspections adding to the thoroughness of our quality assurance. To our knowledge, no one else is more rigorous or provides as much test data to customers as we do.

With demand for transmitters at an all-time high, we have overhauled our transmitter test lab, increasing the number of stations by 40% and adding staff to match. We have also taken the opportunity to improve efficiency and workflow of the testing process, and we are working to enable dual test stations, which will dramatically reduce test time for dual transmitters.

These upgrades are brand new; it will take some time to fully reap the benefits. However, we have heard our customers and understand the need for faster delivery, and we’re working aggressively to improve on that while maintaining our industry-leading quality.

Quick tips for transmitter troubleshooting

Need help identifying the source of issues between your transmitter and receiver? Check out our Transmitter RF Troubleshooting Guide – or, read on about some simple settings that can help.

Mode 6 (Carrier only)

Mode 6 is present on every Quasonix transmitter. Setting to Mode 6 enables a carrier-only signal to quickly check signal integrity or peak signal output at a desired frequency.
 
Command: MO 6

Internal Clock and Data

Setting a transmitter to internal clock and data is a quick way to prove signal integrity from the transmitter to the receiver. Quasonix transmitters have the ability to output a configurable internally generated data pattern. You can set both the clock rate and data pattern.
 
Command: CS 1
Turns on Internal Clock Source
 
Command: DS 1
Turns on Internal Data Source
 
Command: IC x.xx
Sets Internal Clock Rate
IC Display current internal clock rate
IC 4.95 Set internal clock rate to 4.95 MHz
Valid range is 0.002 MHz – 28.0 MHz
Default setting is IC 5 (5.00Mbps)
 
Command: ID xxxx
Sets Internal Data Pattern
ID Report the internal data pattern
ID PN15 Set internal data pattern to PN15
ID AA55 Set internal data pattern to 0xAA55
In SOQPSK mode, ID 5555 or ID AAAA will result in an unmodulated carrier, at the nominal carrier frequency.

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