X-band Antenna Reset Supports Army, Marines, Air Force in Southwest Asia
April 20, 2007
Antenna Systems Branch technicians here have Reset and upgraded 28 Lightweight High Gain X-Band antennas for the Army, Marines and Air Force.
The AS-4429 LHGXA is a mobile large aperture tactical antenna. It consists of a 16-foot reflector mounted on a trailer and operates with X-band satellites and AN/TSC-85D and 93D satellite terminals to provide data, voice and Internet communications.
The branch is part of the Communications System Directorate's Satellite Communications Division.
"We began the Reset workload in mid-2005," said Denis Calarco, branch chief. "In October, the decision was made to upgrade the antennas, so now we are upgrading them as well to the B model. We've completed nine antennas this fiscal year, eight for the Army and one for the Marines."
The upgrade entails replacing Low Noise Amplifiers with a newer version and eliminating the wave guide switch and Built In Test Equipment to make the system more compatible with the AN/TSC-85D and 93D satellite terminals.
Reset for this antenna system consists of disassembling it and making repairs as needed.
"Most of the repairs are minor - dings, dents and rust. The systems that have come in are in good shape operations-wise," said John Borgna, electronics worker. "We haven't had any trouble.
"The most difficult part of this mission is actually keeping the parts together. After a system is disassembled, the parts have to be serialized so components are not mixed up."
Overhaul of the trailer system components, including sheet metal, brakes and wheels, is done by the Systems Integration and Support Directorate.
"Reset usually does not include any aesthetic work, but these systems are brought to like-new condition," Calarco said. "After the mechanical overhaul is done, they are sandblasted and painted, green or tan depending on where they are going."
The antenna systems are tested at Tobyhanna as well. "We test them using a satellite, making any adjustments to get the best signal and align the limits adjusters, which set the antenna's position limits," Borgna said. We print the test data and ship that with the antenna to the customer."
When an antenna is done, it is shrink-wrapped by a contractor and shipped to units such as the Army's 392nd Signal Battalion.
"We have a 90-day turnaround deadline, but have finished some systems a week ahead of schedule," Calarco said.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department's largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna's missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.
About 4,400 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command (C-E LCMC). Headquartered at Fort Monmouth, N.J., C-E LCMC's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.