Designing the WaveBow Autonomous Drone Tracker

Designing the WaveBow

Check out the Wide Open Development of our autonomous antenna tracker. You can review all the significant steps in both mechanical and electronic design.

Alpha – V0.1 First full assembly

After completing a first version of the components and successful print of all the parts, the system is proven functional.

The geared azimuth rotation mechanism shows some play. It is compensated by the closed loop operation, however, a belt-driven mechanism will be investigated in V0.2

V0.2 Belt-driven Azimuth rotation

A closed GT2 belt is used, 132-2GT-6 tightly fits the space available. It is chosen among the standard and most common closed-belt sizes. This GT2 gear generator comes in very handy for finding the number of teeth that fits the available space.


In order to print GT2 gears, the original profile is transformed into rectangles. The printing process will smoothen the edges making it closer to the real GT2 profile. This way, grip is preserved. A comparison of two prints proves this method beneficial.


A belt tensioner is needed to compensate for tolerances in fabrication and positioning. This simple mechanism uses two to screws to push the servo away from the center pulley until the desired belt tension is reached.