tracking


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tracking

[′trak·iŋ]
(electricity)
A leakage or fault path created across the surface of an insulating material when a high-voltage current slowly but steadily forms a carbonized path.
(electronics)
The condition in which all tuned circuits in a receiver accurately follow the frequency indicated by the tuning dial over the entire tuning range.
(engineering)
A motion given to the major lobe of a radar or radio antenna such that some preassigned moving target in space is always within the major lobe.
The process of following the movements of an object; may be accomplished by keeping the reticle of an optical system or a radar beam on the object, by plotting its bearing and distance at frequent intervals, or by a combination of techniques.
(engineering acoustics)
The following of a groove by a phonograph needle.
Maintaining the same ratio of loudness in the two channels of a stereophonic sound system at all settings of the ganged volume control.
(navigation)
Navigation which follows the movements of a craft but does not anticipate future positions.

Tracking

 

the maintenance of the coordinated variation of the resonant frequencies of oscillatory circuits of, for example, a superheterodyne receiver, that are tuned by means of a single control knob. When a superheterodyne receiver is tuned to a certain signal, the resonant frequency frad of the input circuit and the radio-frequency amplifier is set equal to the frequency fsig of the received signal, and the resonant frequency fosc of the local oscillator is adjusted so that the intermediate frequency (usually equal to the difference between frad and fosc) coincides with the resonant frequency of the intermediate-frequency amplifier.

Figure 1. Schematic of an input and radio-frequency amplifier circuit and of the local oscillator circuit: (L) and (Losc) inductance coils of the circuits; (C) variable capacitors; (C1), (C2), and (C3) padder capacitors; (frad) and (fosc) resonant frequencies of the circuits; the broken line indicates that the capacitance of the capacitors is varied by a single tuning knob

Tracking is generally accomplished by employing identical variable capacitors in all tunable circuits and by using additional fixed capacitors, called padders, in the local oscillator circuit, which must have a frequency different from frad (see Figure 1). In this case, the relations between the angle of rotation of the tuning knob and frad and between the angle of rotation and fosc are not exactly those required—that is, the tracking is only approximate. Nonetheless, the tracking is still sufficiently accurate. In the receivers of the mid-1970’s, the variable capacitors used are either capacitors with mechanically varied capacitance or varactors (varicaps).

REFERENCES

Radiopriemnye ustroistva. Edited by V. I. Siforov. Moscow, 1974.
Chistiakov, N. I., and V. M. Sidorov. Radiopriemnye ustroistva. Moscow, 1974.

V. M. SIDOROV

tracking

i. The process of following the movements of an object. This may be done by keeping the reticle of an optical system or a radar beam on the object, plotting its bearing and distance at frequent intervals, or a combination of the two. See track (ix).
ii. A motion given to the major lobe of an antenna so that a preassigned moving target in space remains in the lobe's field as long as it is within viewing range.
iii. The process of determining the position of the tips of the propeller blades relative to one another. See blade track and tracking flag.
iv. The mechanical procedure used to bring the blades of the rotor into satisfactory relationship with one another under dynamic conditions, so that all blades rotate in a common plane. See blade track.

tracking

(text)
The spacing between characters in a line of text. This is defined when a font is designed but can often be altered in order to change the appearance of the text or for special effects.

Tracking should not be confused with kerning which deals with the spacing between certain pairs of characters.

See also leading.

tracking

(1) See Bluetooth tracker, vehicle tracking and child tracking.

(2) The recording of an event. See tracking cookie and email tracker.

(3) Synchronizing a reading or writing mechanism with a rotating platter. For example, a stylus must maintain a smooth contact with the groove in a vinyl phonograph record. A laser must align itself precisely to the tracks of a CD.

(4) In desktop publishing, the consistent letterspacing of text. Tracking is used to expand or contract the amount of text on a page by expanding or reducing the amount of space between letters. It differs from kerning in that it is applied to an entire font or to a range of text, whereas kerning refers to certain letter pairs.
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