Ricker, William; Kolb, John Jr; Aydin Vector Division (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1992-10)
      Due to the vast amount of data required to be collected for design/performance analysis of operational and development systems, there has evolved a real requirement for a high-speed, large capacity, data collection/record system in a small Flight/Ruggedized package. This need is realized by several user communities and factors which include the evolution of small operational vehicles (airborne, land and UAV’s), the desire of weapons manufacturers/integrators to be independent from the vehicle during vehicle integration, and a general need for a field/airborne, reliable portable data collection system for intelligence gathering, operational performance verification and on-board data processing. In the Air Defence community, the need for a ruggedized record system was highlighted after Desert Storm, in which the operational performance of the Patriot Missile was questioned and data collection was not performed to support the performance. The Aydin Vector Division in conjunction with the prime contractor, has come up with a solution to this problem which utilizes a commercially available helical scan 8mm data storage unit. This solution provides a highly reliable record system, ruggedized for airborne and field environments and a low price in comparison with the more traditional approaches currently offered. This paper will describe the design implementation of this small ruggedized, flight worthy Data collection system deemed the ATD-800. It will also discuss the performance and limitations of implementing such a system, as well as provide several applications and solutions to different operational environments to be encountered. Additionally, the paper will conclude with several product enhancements which may benefit the flight test, operational and intelligence communities in the future.