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TCM-2 Monitor and Control Unit

The Walton De-Ice TCM-2

system is a control unit that also be integrated into existing De-Icing Systems, both Gas and Electric.

The TCM-2 system provides a method of passively monitoring and, if required, actively controlling antenna surface temperatures. Four remote digital temperature sensors are mounted in top, bottom, and side quadrants inside the main reflector plenum. These sensors are accurate to within ± 0.5oC.

The Digital surface temperature information is returned to a unit mounted on the Power Distribution Panel. Readings are scaled, then forwarded via a serial link to a 1-U rack-mount display panel. This provides the user with a rolling digital display of the operating temperature of each quadrant of the main reflector, confirming proper operation of the deicing system.

Additionally, the TCM-2 can be configured to take the place of the mechanical thermal switches used to activate and deactivate the deicing heaters.

  • An on-board relay opens and closes on cue from the digital temperature sensors inside the plenum, firing the heaters as needed.
  • Heat from all heaters in the deice system will activate and deactivate at the same time.
  • The heater fan/blower motor will operate as long as there is a call for de-ice.

Unlike fixed thermal switches, the user can easily adjust the operating temperature of the deicing system using the TCM-2, assuring reliable melt-off while potentially reducing operating costs.
Manual override for testing and special operating conditions are still available.

The Challenge: Higher frequency antennas require tight surface tolerances. Temperature imbalance during non-deice condition can introduce uneven expansion and contraction of the main reflector. This may occur when sun shine is on a portion of the reflector and shadows are on another portion.

The Solution
To help combat asymmetry and optimize the reflector's gain and accuracy the TMC-2 can be configured to assist in maintaining an even surface temperature. The unit monitors the temperatures of the four quadrants. The user is able to set the desired allowable temperature difference ("span") between all quadrants. When this number is exceeded, a relay is closed, activating circulation fans inside the antenna plenum, dispersing "hot spots" and leveling reflector surface temperatures.

The rack-mount unit also offers a monitor & control interface for remote system supervision. Temperatures and relay activation can be monitored remotely through discrete relay closers and also by Ethernet Port and is IP addressable.