Inflatable Dish Communication System

Votes: 12
Views: 4045

Team JURBAN has designed an efficient, long-range communications device that can fit within a 24 inch cubic enclosure. Using an inflatable dish from GATR technologies as a low-powered, high gain antenna (0 in antenna capable of a 2Mbps data link rate, with four back-up, lower data rate omnidirectional S-Band dipoles that also act as a short range communication system. The real innovation in the design is our Earth tracking algorithm and control system implementation, which uses three redundant 6 degree-of-freedom Inertial Measurement Units (IMU). These IMUs implement a quaternion math-based Kalman filter for improved stability and removes the possibility of gimbal lock, a dangerous problem which removes one degree of freedom. This had been a problem for the Apollo 11 astronauts and continues today in many engineering applications. Our solution reduces costs by greatly reducing power consumption, a difficulty in many similar systems. Furthermore, the combination of long-range communications capability, an inflatable dish, and the elimination of gimbal lock makes our device a viable solution for portable yet effective transmissions.


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  • Name:
    Blaze Sanders
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    Team JURBAN
  • Profession:
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • Blaze's favorite design and analysis tools:
    Autodesk Inventor, NI Labview, and Altium Designer
  • For managing CAD data Blaze's company uses:
    Autodesk Vault
  • Blaze's hobbies and activities:
    Space Enterprise
  • Blaze belongs to these online communities:
    Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube
  • Blaze is inspired by:
    Human exploration of the galaxy.
  • Patent status: