• Bridging The Gap Between Telemetry and the PC

      Nelson, Wade; Shurtleff, Diana; Loral Instrumentation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1988-10)
      The explosive use and extensive development of software and hardware for the IBM PC and PC Clones over the past few years has positioned the PC as one of many viable alternatives to system designers configuring systems for both data acquisition and data analysis. Hardware abounds for capturing signals to be digitized and analyzed by software developed for the PC. Communication software has improved to where system developers can easily link instrumentation devices together to form integrated test environments for analyzing and displaying data. Telemetry systems, notable those developed for lab calibration and ground station environments, are one of many applications which can profit from the rapid development of data acquisition techniques for the PC. Recently developed for the ADS100A telemetry processor is a data acquisition module which allows the system to be linked into the PC world. The MUX-I/O module was designed to allow the PC access to telemetry data acquired through the ADS 100A, as well as provide a method by which data can be input into the telemetry environment from a host PC or equivalent RS-232 or GPIB interface. Signals captured and digitized by the ADS100A can be passed on to the PC for further processing and/or report generation. Providing interfaces of this form to the PC greatly enhances the functionality and scope of the abilities already provided by the ADS100A as one of the major front-end processors used in telemetry processing today. The MUX-I/O module helps "bridge the gap" between telemetry and the PC in an ever increasing demand for improving the quantity and quality of processing power required by today's telemetry environment. This paper focuses on two distinct topics, how to transfer data to and from the PC and what off-the-shelf software is available to provide communication links and analysis of incoming data. Major areas of discussion will include software protocols, pre vs post processing, static vs dynamic processing environments, and discussion of the major data analysis and acquisition packages available for the PC today, such as DaDisp and Lotus Measure, which aid the system designer in analyzing and displaying telemetry data. Novel applications of the telemetry to PC link will be discussed.