Remote Antenna Tilting Protocol Implementation

About the Client

Kennedy Data Systems is a Texas-based information technology corporation which provides user-friendly windows-based solutions that store data in a relational database which can be implemented in a standalone or client/server environment.
Software & Hi-Tech

Company’s Request

The Remote Electrical Tilt Unit (RET) allows for the accurate control of antenna tilt. It eliminates the site-access requirement and allows the tilt to be adjusted remotely from the base station/network control center in a matter of minutes. This allows for timely and accurate responses to the network's changing capacity requirements.

Technology Set

RS-485 Communication
Utilized for reliable serial data transmission between the motor-driven antenna and the base station, RS-485 supports long-distance communications and multiple devices on the same bus, making it ideal for the RET's network communication needs.
BeagleBone Black Microprocessor
This compact yet powerful microprocessor performs the control and supervisory functions necessary to manage the RET system, offering the flexibility and processing capability required for efficient operation.
AISG Protocol
The Antenna Interface Standards Group protocol is employed to standardize the communication between antenna control systems and equipment, ensuring compatibility and functionality across different devices and systems.
Applications for Desktop Linux
Developed to provide robust and user-friendly control interfaces for the RET system from desktop computers running Linux, facilitating easy and efficient management.
Applications for Embedded Linux
Tailored for devices with limited resources, these applications run on embedded systems to control and monitor the RET system directly from the hardware, ensuring seamless operation in various environments.
GUI Host Application Software
This graphical user interface application is designed to support test implementations, allowing engineers and technicians to interact with the RET system intuitively for setup, monitoring, and troubleshooting.
Qt GUI Application for Remote Tilting Control
Provides a user-friendly graphical interface for controlling antenna tilt remotely, designed using the Qt framework known for its cross-platform capabilities.
Multithreaded Daemon on BeagleBone Black
A background service that runs on the BeagleBone Black, handling tasks concurrently to ensure responsive and reliable control of the antenna system.
Queued Processing of Packets Between OSI Layers
Manages data packets efficiently, queuing them for processing in a systematic manner to maintain order and integrity of communications.
Debug Mode with Hex View of All Packet Traffic
Offers a detailed view of the packet flow in hexadecimal format, useful for debugging and ensuring accurate data transmission.
Fine Tuning of HDLC Protocol Parameters with Configuration File
Allows for precise adjustments to the High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) protocol settings via a configuration file, optimizing communication according to specific needs and conditions.


The solution is comprised of a motor-driven antenna with communication to the BTS via RS-485 and a microprocessor that controls the communication and performs supervisory functions. Most of the RET systems use the AISG protocol (Antenna Interface Standard Group) which is an open specification for the control interface of these systems.
Our software solution facilitated the communication between a host computer and the motor-driven antenna through the RS-485 protocol and BeagleBone Black microprocessor performing control and supervisory functions.

Software packages developed by us included:

1)   Applications for desktop Linux.

2)   Applications for embedded Linux.

Our solution also provided a GUI host application software to support the test implementation.

Value Delivered

Facility Monitoring
The designs facilitate comprehensive monitoring of facilities, ensuring operational safety and efficiency. This includes the oversight of physical conditions and system performance within industrial environments.
Environment Monitoring
The solution is pivotal in monitoring environmental parameters, aiding in compliance with health and safety regulations, and ensuring sustainable operational practices.
Industrial Process Control
The architectures support intricate control mechanisms required in industrial processes, enhancing precision and reliability in operations.
Low Cost
The solution prioritizes cost-effectiveness while maintaining high quality and reliability.
Qt GUI Application for Remote Tilting Control
Provides a graphical user interface on desktop Linux platforms for easy manipulation and control of antenna positions.
Multithreaded Daemon on BeagleBone Black (BBB)
Enhances processing capabilities, allowing for efficient multitasking and robust control.
Queued Processing of Packets Between OSI Layers
Ensures smooth and structured data transmission, enhancing communication reliability.
Debug Mode with Hex View of All Packet Traffic
Facilitates thorough debugging and troubleshooting by providing a detailed view of packet flows.
Fine Tuning of HDLC Protocol Parameters with Configuration File
Allows for meticulous adjustments to protocol parameters to meet specific operational requirements.