• New Mobile Telemetry Ground Station for Sounding Rocket, Stratospheric Balloon, and LEOP Satellite Support

      Haefner, Dennis; Kimpe, Andreas; Turner, Peter; DLR Mobile Rocket Base (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      The new telemetry station of the DLR Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) is a fully equipped commanding, tracking, and data acquisition ground station developed particularly for sounding rockets and stratospheric research balloons. Furthermore, it serves as a support system for satellite missions during launch and early orbit phases. Its primary design goal was maximum mobility and versatility. Hence, the station is optimized for easy transportation in standard 20-foot ISO containers, fast setup, and highest independence regarding location and infrastructure. It can be operated at tropical temperatures and arctic conditions alike. The TT&C station comprises two independent antenna systems made by ORBIT Communication Systems. The main antenna features a segmented five-meter parabolic dish on a very fast elevation-over-azimuth pedestal and an S-band tracking feed with supplementary acquisition aid. The feed supports simultaneous uplink and downlink in the S-band, both with polarization diversity for improved signal quality even under adverse conditions. A small 1.5-meter secondary antenna with autonomous tracking equipment provides backup to the main system for fast target acquisition and wide angle tracking capability.
    • International Telemetering Conference Proceedings, Volume 50 (2014)

      International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10
    • Telemetry (TM) Has Changed Quite a Bit Over the Past 53 Years

      Hochner, Bill (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
    • Trade-offs of Antenna Fabrication Techniques

      Ryken, Marv; Microwave Subsystems, Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      This paper addresses the future military munitions' system requirements for antennas in terms of the existing versus new fabrication technology. The antenna requirements of the future smart munitions will be GPS for precision guidance and TM for system performance testing. The environmental requirements remain the same; large temperature operating range with operation at high temperatures and high shock capable. As usual, the munitions are getting smaller, frequency bandwidth is getting larger, and the cost of the antennas must be minimized in production quantities. In particular this paper compares the existing antenna fabrication technology of Teflon based dielectric printed circuits versus multilayer alumina in the green state, a technology that has been perfected for fabricating microwave integrated circuits (MIC's). The trade-offs that will be addressed are temperature, shock, cost, tunability, loss, size, dielectric constant, and frequency bandwidth. There has been a significant effort to miniaturize the GPS and TM antenna using higher dielectric constant materials. The most popular direction of this effort has been to use ceramic impregnated Teflon. The ultimate temperature performance is the material with a dielectric constant around 2 since this material exhibits a very low coefficient of change with temperature. Materials are available with nominal dielectric constants of 6 and 10 to reduce the size of the antenna but the coefficient of change with temperature is very large and leaves these materials marginal for military temperature ranges. There have also been two other problems with Teflon based printed circuit boards, forming and bonding the boards in a 3D shape and homogeneity of the dielectric constant in the board and after bonding. These problems usually make tuning a requirement and drive the cost of antenna fabrication up. There has been a revolution in MIC's. The circuits are now being made with multiple layers of ceramic (alumina) with interlayer conductive connections and a nominal dielectric constant of 10. The layers are formed in the green state and fired at high temperature and the resulting alumina substrate has a very low coefficient of change with temperature and low loss. Since this procedure is now beyond development, the cost is low and the volume capability is high. Another significant point is that the part can be any shape since the substrate is done in the green state (formable) and then fired.
    • Addressing the Challenges Created by Large Networked Ethernet FTI Systems

      Quinn, Pat; Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      As Flight Test Instrumentation (FTI) systems move away from traditional PCM towards Ethernet, a whole new set of system level considerations must be taken into account. This is particularly true when these systems consist of dozens of data acquisition systems (DAUs) and multiple layers of switches. This paper discusses the challenges presented by very large Ethernet based systems and the methodologies developed to address these during a recent application.
    • Moving Object Detection Based on Ordered Dithering Codebook Model

      Guo, Jing-Ming; Thinh, Nguyen Van; Lee, Hua; National Taiwan University of Science and Technology; University of California, Santa Barbara (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      This paper presents an effective multi-layer background modeling method to detect moving objects by exploiting the advantage of novel distinctive features and hierarchical structure of the Codebook (CB) model. In the block-based structure, the mean-color feature within a block often does not contain sufficient texture information, causing incorrect classification especially in large block size layers. Thus, the Binary Ordered Dithering (BOD) feature becomes an important supplement to the mean RGB feature In summary, the uniqueness of this approach is the incorporation of the halftoning scheme with the codebook model for superior performance over the existing methods.
    • Performance Evaluation of Space-Time Coding on an Airborne Test Platform

      Temple, Kip; Edwards Air Force Base (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      Typical airborne test platforms use multiple telemetry transmit antennas in a top and bottom configuration in order to mitigate signal shadowing during maneuvers on high dynamic platforms. While mitigating one problem, this also creates a co-channel interference problem as the same signal, time delayed with differing amplitude, is sent to both antennas. Space-Time Coding (STC) was developed with the intention of mitigating this co-channel interference problem, also known as the "two antenna problem". Lab testing and preliminary flight testing of developmental and pre-production hardware has been completed and documented. This is the first test dedicated to assessing the performance of a production STC system in a real-world test environment. This paper will briefly describe lab testing that preceded the flight testing, describes the airborne and ground station configurations used during the flight test, and provides detailed results of the performance of the space time coded telemetry link as compared against a reference telemetry link.
    • Remote Perimeter Monitoring for Agricultural Applications

      Kosbar, Kurt; Crow, Nicholas; Meyer, James; Harrelson, Dustin; Cook, Bradley; Gassel, Jason; Harrington, Brandon; Missouri University of Science and Technology (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      A monitoring system has been developed to detect when a large vehicle is gaining access to an area such as an agricultural field or facility through a control gate. The system uses multiple sensors, including Hall-effect, anisotropic magnetoresistor, ultrasonic ranging, and vision. A user is alerted using a conventional cell phone network of the presence of the vehicle. The system is microcontroller based, uses photovoltaic power supply, and leverages commercial off the shelf components wherever feasible. The system detection algorithm was made adaptable, to minimize false alarms and missed detections.
    • Moving Data Analysis into the Acquisition Hardware

      Buckley, Dave; Curtiss-Wright (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      Data acquisition for flight test is typically handled by dedicated hardware which performs specific functions and targets specific interfaces and buses. Through the use of an FPGA state machine based design approach, performance and robustness can be guaranteed. Up to now sufficient flexibility has been provided by allowing the user to configure the hardware depending on the particular application. However by allowing custom algorithms to be run on the data acquisition hardware, far greater control and flexibility can be offered to the flight test engineer. As the volume of the acquired data increases, this extra control can be used to vastly reduce the amount of data to be recorded or telemetered. Also real-time analysis of test points can now be done where post processing would previously have been required. This paper examines examples of data acquisition, recording and processing and investigates where data reduction and time savings can be achieved by enabling the flight test engineer to run his own algorithms on the hardware.
    • Comparing Packet Fill Strategies in Ethernet-Based Data Acquisition Systems

      Penna, Sérgio D.; EMBRAER Flight Test Instrumentation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      Ethernet-based data acquisition systems are becoming more and more common in the Flight Test Instrumentation environment. Digitized analog sensor output and various other types of digital data is captured and inserted into Ethernet packets using a "packet fill" strategy that in general is under control of the user. This paper discuss and compares two strategies "FILL-TO-TIME" and "FILL-TO- SIZE" for the acquisition of ARINC-429 digital data bus.
    • FPGA Implementation of Burst-Mode Synchronization for SOQSPK-TG

      Hosseini, Ehsan; Perrins, Erik; University of Kansas (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      In this paper, we present an FPGA implementation for synchronization of SOQPSK-TG in burst-mode transmissions. The system first detects arrival of new bursts, after which it estimates carrier frequency, carrier phase, and symbol timing offsets. Additionally, it is designed based on the synchronization algorithms developed for the iNET preamble. Here, we introduce some complexity reduction techniques in order to save chip area and to minimize latency. The implementation results are shown to be very close to the computer simulations in terms of estimation error variances and the overall bit-error rate (BER).
    • A Novel Method for 3D Printing High Conductivity Alloys for UHF Applications

      Marcellin, Michael; Xin, Hao; Bishop, Craig; Armstrong, Ian; Navarette, Rolando; University of Arizona (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      Traditional approaches to constructing 3D structural electronics with conductive and dielectric materials include ink-jet printed, silver-bearing ink and fine copper wire meshes. One approach combines stereo-lithographic 3D-printed photo-polymers with direct-printed silver-bearing conductive inks. Results have shown 3D conductive structures with conductivities in the range 2x10⁶ to 1x10⁷ S/m using annealing temperatures ranging from 110°C to 150°C for 10 to 15 minutes. However, the stereo-lithographic approach suffers from the high cost of the printer and structural deformation during annealing. This paper presents a new method for 3d printing high conductivity metal alloys using consumer-grade 3D printer. The design and construction of the necessary modification will be presented in addition to the new 3D design process. The method yields metal structures with expected conductivities exceeding 2.6x10⁶ S/m. The process is performed without an annealing step, so the polymeric structural material is not exposed to high temperatures for any prolonged time. A UHF ISM band antenna is constructed for an RFID application using this method, the antenna performance is measured, and the results are compared simulations in Ansys HFSS. This new method can reduce total cost, and several low melting-point alloys could raise the conductivity.
    • Evaluation and Analysis of a Multi-Band Transceiver for Next Generation Telemetry Applications

      Richardson, Nathan; Berhanu, Samuel; Thomason, Willie L., II; Morgan State University (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      This paper presents the evaluation and analysis of two multi-band, transceiver architectures that address the current demands in telemetry applications. One architecture used image rejection to perform coarse band selection, translating the RF spectrum to IF frequencies, while the second architecture utilizes an adaptive filter bank architecture for more agile band selectivity. Both architectures consist of an analog front-end subsystem for signal conditioning and frequency translation, and a digital radio subsystem for band and channel selection. The transceiver prototype was designed to operate over the L-band (1435 - 1535 MHz), S-Band (2200 - 2295 MHz, 2310 - 2385 MHz), and C-Band (4400 -4950 MHz, 5091 - 5250 MHz). System block-diagrams, simulations and measured results with a comparison between the two architectures, are presented. The authors would like to thank the Test Resource Management Center (TRMC) Test and Evaluation/Science and Technology (T&E/S&T) Program for their support. This works was funded by the T&E/S&T program through the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) contract for W900KK-12-C-0048 for Multi-Band, Multi-Mode Software Defined Radio (MBMM SDR). This paper is approved for public release; distribution is unlimited (412TW-PA-14282).
    • Development and Usage of IF Recorders in Range Systems

      Salisbury, Jack; Cornelius, Harold E.; Pennington, Gregory A.; Atlantic Test Range (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      Accurate reproduction of RF transmissions for test and development has been out of reach for some time. The testing of RF equipment, multipath generation and downstream TM processing systems has been done in the past with varying levels of accuracy. In the past the techniques of checking TM equipment worked, but lacked realism that real TM transmissions provide. This paper describes the development of an IF recorder for range TM. We discuss the usage of a recorder with multiple channels, time correlation, channel skew capability, IF over IP capabilities and file management will allow repeatable, realistic testing of TM systems.
    • An Examination of Spatial Diversity Combining Using Commercial Off the Shelf Equipment in Missile Telemetry

      Kang, James S.; Oldak, Salomon; Herder, Gerald; Graham, Richard A., Jr.; US Navy (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      This experiment has two purposes. One, to determine if a modern diversity combiner normally used in missile telemetry for polarization diversity can be used for spatial diversity to obtain a gain in the signal quality. Two, to determine if a simple test can be designed such that a non-laboratory test can be performed by the average telemetry operator in order to assess the first purpose.
    • DAU and Ground Station Set Up - Concept of Operations

      Eccles, Lee H.; Moore, Jessica D.; Stiers, Richard D.; Boeing Test & Evaluation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      Many systems in use today to generate the set up information for Data Acquisition Units (DAUs) and for Telemetry Ground Stations are tailored around the requirements for a particular set of supplier's hardware. This makes adding support for a new supplier a costly operation. An attempt is under way to enable development of a system that could be used to set up a DAU and a Telemetry Ground Station with equipment from the currently existing suppliers as well as future suppliers. The goal is to reduce the impact of adding a different supplier's hardware into a system. As the first step in this process it was necessary to agree upon a Concept of Operations that could meet the needs of multiple companies. Once the Concept of Operations was developed then the standards necessary to enable the development of this type of a system could be considered. This paper discusses the Concept of Operations that was developed and the rationale behind the decisions that were made.
    • A Program to Display Big Data

      Grubbs, Elmer A.; University of Arizona; Northern Arizona University (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      This paper describes a new way to look at telemetry data. We examine a way to use virtual or also augmented reality to evaluate and view data from a large collection of stored signals. Each individual signal will have limits associated with it that allow us to determine whether any part of the signal exceeds those limits and if so what part(s) of the waveform contain these abnormalities. A simple program to illustrate the basic technique has been written and will be demonstrated as part of the presentation.
    • Advanced Monitoring Techniques

      Rubio, Pedro; Gonzalez, Moises; Roses, Diego; Lopez, Rodrigo; Airbus Defence and Space (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      The State of The Art in Operating Systems and new human machine interfaces are moving forward quickly. Flight Test Data Processing Department has developed new tools for monitoring Flight Tests using new computer technologies like .NET virtual machines, "on-the-fly" compilation, intelligent behavior, multi-touch capabilities and high performance vector graphics libraries. All these new techniques allows the user to optimize Flight Tests reducing the time for taking decisions, helping to make complex calculations in real time and adapting the visualization displays to Flight Test Engineers requirements in real time.
    • Buy versus Develop: A NAND Flash Controller Case Study

      Budd, Chris; SMART High Reliability Solutions, Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      The decision to buy or develop any system component is a difficult one. Clearly, the development time and cost is less when using an off-the-shelf component; however, these components attempt to meet the requirements of a main-stream market segment. Outside of those markets, a designer may need to add unique features to solve problems for specialty markets; one example is SSDs for telemetry markets where one critical component is the NAND flash controller. This paper will focus on some of the requirement differences and why it is so important for SSD designers to develop their own controller for these markets.
    • An Engineer's Guide to TMoIP

      Hoffman, Richard W., III; GDP Space Systems (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2014-10)
      As telemetry transport systems move inexorably closer to a unified telemetry-over-IP approach, the operators and engineers who have traditionally deferred to a separate communications group can benefit from a more comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of the transport medium and protocol. Ethernet, and more specifically IP network hardware, has gained increased robustness, as well as much of the reliability enhancing functionality of more venerable transport solutions, but with these increasingly integrated feature sets comes an emphasized demand on the telemetry systems operator to be able to configure the telemetry transport network devices in more dynamic environments. This paper will seek to serve as a handbook for the telemetry community, guiding discussions of the strengths, weaknesses, legacy, and future outlook of this transport methodology both within and without the groups involved in most range telemetry transport environments.