ALSTOM: Antenna Control Unit


Satellite Antenna image

Alstom offers a new generation antenna control unit, which ensures an effective satellite monotoring for mobile and fixed applications. :


In order to ensure this, Alstom wanted to integrate the required electronic to achieve the satellite tracking function in a standard 19 inch rack. The whole system was to be controlled by a microprocessor ARM9-Cortex A8 type and a Real-Time Linux operating system.
In addition, a web interface was necessary and a modern HMI should give the possibility to control and configure the system from the front side of the rack

Satellite Antenna Controller Unit

Our contribution

The hardware

  • The heart of the system is overseen by a SOM ACU550: We have developed a version of SOM derived from our APF51 with 256 MB RAM, 512 MB of flash and Spartan6 LX9 FPGA, and supplemented by four dual Ethernet ports
  • Design and routing of customer's main board based on its requirements specification
  • The HMI board is driven by a SOM designed by us: an APF27 with 64 MB RAM and 128 MB of Flash


  • Firmware design in VHDL of the digital encoders manager
  • Firmware design in VHDL of the 4 CAN bus controllers manager
  • Firmware design in VHDL of the 4 dual Ethernet controllers manager
  • IP integration of 4 UART ports


  • Providing of a complete and tailor-made BSP including U-Boot and RT-preempt Linux 3.0
  • Writing specific Linux drivers of ADC, DAC, IP digital encoders, IP Ethernet switches, IP CAN

Functionalities of the main board and SOM ACU550

  • 24V power supply
  • A RTC with backup
  • 21x analog -10V/+10V 16 bit inputs
  • 16x analog -10V/+10V 16 bit output
  • 32x digital inputs
  • 16x digital output
  • 4x CAN bus controllers
  • 4x dual Ethernet controllers
  • 3x Specific SSI encoders (IP FPGA)
  • 4x Uarts

Functionalities on the front side board and SOM APF27

  • 800x600 pixels TFT display with touchscreen
  • 1x Ethernet service port
  • 1x Keypad (optional)
  • 1x USB Host
  • 1x SD card


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