|The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) repository holds full-text theses and dissertations submitted for higher degrees at the University (including submissions from former Cape Technikon and Peninsula Technikon).|
Development of a low energy cooling technology for a mobile satellite ground station
The work presented in this thesis consists of the simulation of a cooling plant for a future mobile satellite ground station in order to minimize the effects of the thermal noise and to maintain comfort temperatures onboard the same station. Thermal problems encountered in mobile satellite ground stations are a source of poor quality signals and also of the premature destruction of the front end microwave amplifiers. In addition, they cause extreme discomfort to the mission operators aboard the mobile station especially in hot seasons. The main concerns of effective satellite system are the quality of the received signal and the lifespan of the front end low noise amplifier (LNA). Although the quality of the signal is affected by different sources of noise observed at various stages of a telecommunication system, thermal noise resulting from thermal agitation of electrons generated within the LNA is the predominant type. This thermal noise is the one that affects the sensitivity of the LNA and can lead to its destruction. Research indicated that this thermal noise can be minimized by using a suitable cooling system. A moveable truck was proposed as the equipment vehicle for a mobile ground station. In the process of the cooling system development, a detailed quantitative study on the effects of thermal noise on the LNA was conducted. To cool the LNA and the truck, a 2 kW solar electric vapor compression system was found the best for its compliance to the IEA standards: clean, human and environment friendly. The principal difficulty in the development of the cooling system was to design a photovoltaic topology that would ensure the solar panels were always exposed to the sun, regardless the situation of the truck. Simulation result suggested that a 3.3 kW three sided pyramid photovoltaic topology would be the most effective to supply the power to the cooling system. A battery system rated 48 V, 41.6 Ah was suggested to be charged by the PV system and then supply the power to the vapor compression system. The project was a success as the objective of this project has been met and the research questions were answered.