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Senior Project - PARATRAK


A Graphical Control System for Parabolic Dish Antennas

Senior Project: 1998-1999
Ahmed Bahaziq, William Farrell, Hoonil Kim and Lawrence Loesch

The Deep Space Exploration Society (DSES) is a Colorado non-profit organization that exists to foster the exploration and understanding of space by preparing students, members and the public to participate in that exploration. Their facility consists of two 60-foot parabolic dish antennas capable of receiving radio signals over a wide range of frequencies from celestial objects or spacecraft. Over the last several years DSES has begun to restore and update the facility. As part of this restoration, the drive control and position sensors of the antenna control systems have been upgraded.

The goal of the project was the design and implementation of a dish aiming system to work with the upgraded hardware and software. The software provides a GUI that allows a user to automate the tracking of various celestial, heliocentric, terrestrial, and geocentric objects. The system continuously displays the state of the dish, while communicating with controller hardware that actually instigates dish movement. The project was developed in C++ for a Windows platform, using an object-oriented approach.

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Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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