Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Antenna Testing

Long time blog readers will know that we've done some antenna testing on the ground and from a boat over the last couple years. It was decided that we needed to do a comprehensive test in a full circle around the antenna towers. So Helmut Menzel came back from Germany and Joe Barker came from the Cary office. We rented a plane from Curacao and did some flying on Monday and Tuesday mornings.

The guys flew around the towers in a 12 kilometer radius circle. The signal strength meter and a GPS receiver were hooked to a laptop computer. That way we had signal strength and position information synced together.

This is a plot (yellow circle) of their actual path on two of the trips around the towers.

You can click on the pictures to see them bigger.

Here Rich F., Udo, and Rich W. are mounting the antenna to the wing strut.

Helmut gets some baseline readings with the signal strength meter.

Here is a shot that puts the Cessna 175 and the Bonaire airport in perspective. The airport security guys must be scratching their heads at how that ocean liner sneaked in, heh-heh.
No Photoshop tricks here, just a small island and a telephoto lens.

Taking off... you can see the antenna mounted under the wing on the left side of the plane. Posted by Picasa

It was an interesting ride because the trade winds were a solid 26 knots, but initial indications are that they got good data.

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