Prevent Service Interruptions with Tracking Avoidance Zones (TAZ)

In an ideal installation, the antenna has a clear view of the sky in all directions and no other radiating equipment is nearby that can interfere with receiving the satellite signal. However, such an ideal installation is not always achievable on a vessel. That's why KVH engineers created the Tracking Avoidance Zone function, available exclusively with KVH TracPhone VSAT systems. This feature allows an installer or authorized user to configure up to five tracking avoidance zones for areas where there may be blockage or RF interference causing marginal reception and intermittent antenna performance.

 

In addition, KVH engineers integrated powerful Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities into all TracPhone VSAT systems as part of our Proactive Monitoring service, which records and transmits data for 95+ key performance indicators, including signal blockage areas, to KVH's technical support team. The KVH team can also help optimize your VSAT performance by programming or updating TAZs remotely while the vessel is underway after the antenna has built a refined map of exactly where the blockages occur.

vessel tracking

After TAZs are set up, whenever the antenna is tracking a satellite in the direction of a TAZ, it will switch to a different satellite if one is available. An allowance period (1-60 minutes, selectable) precludes switching in cases when the antenna is simply passing through a zone while the vessel is turning. The system calculates how long the antenna will be pointing in the zone based on the vessel’s rate of turn. If the calculated time exceeds the allowance period, the antenna will immediately switch satellites, as long as there is an alternate satellite available in your service region.

 

KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband network and TracPhone VSAT systems provide users with optimal performance with a robust global satellite network that ensures that wherever your vessel travels, you’ll likely be within sight of at least two satellites. The best way to avoid blockage, of course, is to install the TracPhone VSAT system in an area completely free of obstructions. However, we know that our antennas are used in the real world, where that isn't always possible. While a TAZ won’t necessarily avert every blockage event, it will greatly enhance the overall performance of your onboard communications.

 

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Setting Up Tracking Avoidance Zones to Prevent Service Interruptions​:

Learn How To:

Set Up Tracking Avoidance Zones

To configure a tracking avoidance zone, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the necessary azimuth range for the zone (see  Identify the Azimuth Range).

  2. Identify the necessary elevation range for the zone (see Identify the Elevation Range).

  3. At the TracPhone V7-HTS web interface, configure a tracking avoidance zone for that combination of azimuth and elevation ranges (see  Configure the Tracking Avoidance Zone(s) at the Web Interface).

Identify the Azimuth Range

First, you need to determine the necessary azimuth range for the tracking avoidance zone(s). You will need to enter, in clockwise order, the beginning and ending azimuths that define the outer boundaries of the zone, relative to the antenna’s forward arrow, which should be pointing toward the bow.

NOTE: Each tracking avoidance zone must span at least 5º. Therefore, be sure to set beginning and ending azimuths at least 5º apart.

Beginning and Ending Azimuths Defining a Zone (Example)

ICM_TAZ_AZs.png 

Identify the Elevation Range

Now you need to determine the necessary elevation range for the tracking avoidance zone(s). You will need to enter, in ascending order, the beginning and ending elevations that define the outer boundaries of the zone.

NOTE: Each tracking avoidance zone must span at least 5º. Therefore, be sure to set beginning and ending elevations at least 5º apart.

Beginning and Ending Elevations Defining a Zone (Example)

ICM_TAZ_EL_example_V11V7.png 

Configure the Tracking Avoidance Zone(s) at the Web Interface

  1. At the TracPhone V7-HTS web interface, click the Settings tab. Then click Tracking Avoidance Zones.

  2. Click Edit.

  3. If the Login window appears, log in with the Administrator password.

  4. Enter the azimuth and elevation ranges for Zone 1. Then select the Enabled check box.

  5. If you wish to set up another tracking avoidance zone, select a zone from the drop-down menu and repeat step 4 for the selected zone.

  6. In the Time in Zone box, enter the maximum number of minutes (between 1 and 60) during which the antenna will be allowed to track within a tracking avoidance zone (see Tracking Avoidance Zones Overview for details).

  7. Click Save Settings.

  8. At the confirmation message, click Save.

Configuring Tracking Avoidance Zones

TAZ_setup_zone1_crop.png 

Understanding the Cumulative View

The Tracking Avoidance Zones page displays a diagram that indicates the cumulative azimuth and elevation ranges of the tracking avoidance zones that are currently enabled. The circumference of the circle indicates azimuth, while the radius indicates elevation. In the example shown here, the following tracking avoidance zones are enabled:

  • Zone 1 (purple) = Azimuth: 170º to 190º, Elevation: -25º to 20º

  • Zone 2 (blue) = Azimuth: 15º to 55º, Elevation: 30º to 90º

Cumulative View of All Enabled Tracking Avoidance Zones

TAZ_cumulative_view.png

 
Basic Vessel Tracking

Disable Tracking Avoidance Zones

You can disable any of your programmed tracking avoidance zones to temporarily remove its restrictions on tracking. This function permits the antenna to ignore the zone(s); it does not delete them from the system’s memory.

To disable a tracking avoidance zone, follow these steps:

  1. At the TracPhone V7-HTS web interface, click the Settings tab. Then click Tracking Avoidance Zones.

  2. Click Edit.

  3. If the Login window appears, log in with the Administrator password.

  4. Select the zone you want to disable from the drop-down menu.

  5. Clear the Enabled check box. The zone disappears from the Cumulative View.

  6. Click Save Settings.

  7. At the confirmation message, click Save.

Disabling Tracking Avoidance Zones

TAZ_zone1_Enabled_unchecked_crop.png 

Clear Tracking Avoidance Zones

You can clear all tracking avoidance zones from the system’s memory. Unlike disabling zones, clearing zones permanently delete them.

To clear the tracking avoidance zones, follow these steps:

  1. At the TracPhone V7-HTS web interface, click the Settings tab. Then click Tracking Avoidance Zones.

  2. Click Edit.

  3. If the Login window appears, log in with the Administrator password.

  4. Click Clear Zones.

  5. At the confirmation message, click Clear Zones.

Clearing Tracking Avoidance Zones

TAZ_ClearZones.png