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Localizer And VOR Antenna Question  
User currently offlineRJSampson From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 35 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 14323 times:

Hello,

In flight school, the mechanics of a glideslope antenna was well explained (what with two antennae on the glideslope mast sending two signals that are translated by the horizontal crosshair or chevron as to where you are on the path, etc.)

However, the mechanics of a localizer (and for that matter a VOR) station were never discussed.

Why does a localizer station have multiple antennae and, for that matter, why does a VOR have several (or much more than several) transmitting antennae? How do these stations work?

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 14309 times:

Quoting RJSampson (Thread starter):

However, the mechanics of a localizer (and for that matter a VOR) station were never discussed.

As far as I know, the localizer works just like the glideslope, it's just rotated 90 degrees.

Quoting RJSampson (Thread starter):
Why does a localizer station have multiple antennae and, for that matter, why does a VOR have several (or much more than several) transmitting antennae? How do these stations work?

I can't speak to why localizer antennae are built the way they are, but the VOR is transmitting to signals...a main signal (the big central antenna) and an electronically rotating signal (all the little ones). The phase difference between the two defines the radials of the VOR.

Tom.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9002 posts, RR: 75
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 14277 times:

Quoting RJSampson (Thread starter):
However, the mechanics of a localizer (and for that matter a VOR) station were never discussed.

These documents is more than you will ever need to know operationally as a pilot, they describe how the various systems work.

NDB : http://www.casa.gov.au/wcmswr/_assets/main/pilots/download/ndb.pdf
VOR : http://www.casa.gov.au/wcmswr/_assets/main/pilots/download/vor.pdf
DME : http://www.casa.gov.au/wcmswr/_assets/main/pilots/download/dme.pdf
ILS : http://www.casa.gov.au/wcmswr/_assets/main/pilots/download/ils.pdf

Quoting RJSampson (Thread starter):
Why does a localizer station have multiple antennae and, for that matter, why does a VOR have several (or much more than several) transmitting antennae?

Essentially it has to do with antenna design, with better mathematical models of how antenna radiate their signals, more advanced antenna designs are used to provide a more uniform and accurate radiated signal and that is less susceptible to the normal inherent errors in those systems, and the physical surroundings.

The more modern the installation, generally the more antennas you will see installed for a given function.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 1):
VOR is transmitting to signals...a main signal (the big central antenna) and an electronically rotating signal (all the little ones).

If you see around 48 little antennas arranged in a circle of 44' diameter, that would be a doppler VOR station which uses a doppler shift between the AM reference signal to the FM variable signal to generate the phase difference. The rotating signal generating the phase difference is used in the older conventional VORs.

If you have a cone or mast mounted in the middle of the VOR/DVOR station, that is normally a sign of a collocated DME.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinemmedford From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 561 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 14230 times:

First off; we like to call ourselves Technicians/Engineering Technicians...not mechanics...

tds is right, the pure concept of space modulation is the same in free space to the aircraft. On the ground we use different antenna arrangements to build arrays that help us achieve the radiated signal we are looking for; in terms of path/course and clearances. To give the aircraft a true centerline as possible with regards to surrounding objects that can affect the radiated signal in space (eg; hangar, buildings, etc..)

There are 2 types of VOR as zeke has covered; a conventional and a doppler; Again to the aircraft it's the same deal, but to us on the ground it helps achieve a better signal with regards to accuracy, integrity and advertised service area.

But to correct Zeke; the cone or mast; is either the VOR antenna (Conventional VOR) or Monitor Antenna (Doppler VOR)...the DME uses a normal halfwave dipole.

*goes back into equipment shed*



ILS = It'll Land Somewhere
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9002 posts, RR: 75
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 14160 times:

Quoting mmedford (Reply 3):

But to correct Zeke; the cone or mast; is either the VOR antenna (Conventional VOR) or Monitor Antenna (Doppler VOR)...the DME uses a normal halfwave dipole.

The white mast in the middle is what I was referring to, I always thought they were the DME antenna.

http://www.trevord.com/navaids/naimages/highres/hr_lam6.jpg



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinesfotom From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 14122 times:

Quoting mmedford (Reply 3):
First off; we like to call ourselves Technicians/Engineering Technicians...not mechanics...

Uh, I think he was using the term "mechanics" as understanding the way the system worked, not as a term used for those who work on that system.

Tom


User currently offlineElevated From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 296 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 13853 times:

Quoting mmedford (Reply 3):
First off; we like to call ourselves Technicians/Engineering Technicians...not mechanics...

My, oh my.


User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 13777 times:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 4):
The white mast in the middle is what I was referring to, I always thought they were the DME antenna.

It is AFAIK, but I believe the monitoring antenna is immediately under it (the white dome). Not all DVORs seem to put the DME antenna in the middle.

Here's a DVOR with the DME antenna on the left side:



You can kinda see the monitoring antenna in the middle.

Not sure what the dipole to the right is, but probably some sort of monitoring antenna as well.

[Edited 2010-09-16 10:50:57]

User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 13505 times:

The conical center antenna shown is part of the VOR itself. The rod resembling a largish cell phone antenna would be your DME.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/36326940/Vor



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlinefly2hmo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 13447 times:

Quoting FredT (Reply 8):
The conical center antenna shown is part of the VOR itself.

Show and tell time!

A plain VOR (no DME, TACAN or any other fancy stuff):



I don't think there's any left like that around in the US anymore.

Most of all the off-airport VORs I've seen in the US look exactly like this:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e6/Table_Rock_VOR.jpg/800px-Table_Rock_VOR.jpg

The cylinder at the very top is the TACAN.

A doppler VOR would be like what my last post, or Zeke's shows, but here's a DVORTAC for good measure:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/93/VORTAC_TGO_Aichtal_Germany_01.JPG/800px-VORTAC_TGO_Aichtal_Germany_01.JPG


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