• Lessons Learned in Using COTS for Real Time High Speed Data Distribution

      Downing, Bob; Bretz, Jim; SPARTA Incorporated (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Currently, there is a large effort being placed on the use of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment to satisfy dedicated system requirements. This emphasis is being pursued in the quest of reducing overall system development costs. The development activity discussed in this paper consisted of determining some of the boundaries and constraints in the use of COTS equipment for high speed data distribution. This paper will present some of the lessons learned in developing a real-time high speed (greater than 1 MByte/sec) data distribution subsystem using COTS equipment based on industry accepted standards and POSIX P1003.1 operating system compliance.
    • EOS High Rate Telemetry Processing Components

      Bennett, Toby; Looney, Kirstin; Chesney, Jim; NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      The unprecedented volume of earth science data generated by NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) will require significant advancements in the capability and scale of ground-based data acquisition and processing systems. In order to meet this challenge, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has initiated the development of key subsystem components for CCSDS front-end processing at 150 Mbps data rates. This effort is a continuation of the Functional Components Approach (1), an approach applied over the last eight years that uses modular, VMEbus subsystems based on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) technology to create pipelined, multi-processor telemetry data systems. The result of this development effort is the creation of four new functional component subsystems incorporating four new VLSI Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and the augmentation of two existing subsystems to include elements for frame synchronization, Reed- Solomon error correction, CCSDS Service processing, and simulation at EOS data rates. This paper describes this development effort and provides initial functional and performance expectations.
    • Use of Nonstandard FM Subcarriers for Telemetry Systems

      Rieger, James L.; Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Subcarrier use in telemetry has decreased in recent years due to emphasis on all-digital systems, but some cases lend themselves more easily to a mixed-service system carrying subcarriers along with a baseband signal. The 'IRIG 106' Telemetry Standards have maintained and expanded several series of FM subcarriers, but some uses are better served with 'non-standard' subcarriers that might be standard in other types of service, making components relatively easily available and inexpensive. This paper examines topics from the RCC study and describes some of the uses of subcarrier systems available to the telemetry designer.
    • A Packet Based, Data Driven Telemetry System for Autonomous Experimental Sub-Orbital Spacecraft

      Kalibjian, J. R.; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      A data driven telemetry system is described that responds to the rapid nature in which experimental satellite telemetry content is changed during the development process. It also meets the needs of a diverse experiment in which the many phases of a mission may contain radically different types of telemetry data. The system emphasizes mechanisms for achieving high redundancy of critical data. A practical example of such an implementation, Brilliant Pebbles Flight Experiment Three (FE-3), is cited.

      Hoaglund, Catharine M.; Gardner, Lee S.; Bender, Victor W.; Edwards Air Force Base (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      The increasing complexity and volume of the information needed to support flight test missions has led to a need to expand the capability of current test data management systems. While the abilities currently exist to collect and manage calibration and telemetry information in an automated fashion, new requirements have emerged to link this data with other systems and to expand the functions and devices supported. Coordinating and directing the overall flow of information required for a successful flight test is a very big task. It calls for a view into flight test planning and scheduling activities, test objectives and methods, and the requirements for viewing and processing the test data in real-time and postflight. To meet this challenge, the Automated Test Data Management System (ATDMS) is being developed at the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC), Edwards AFB, California. This paper describes the critical information and interfaces that the ATDMS will manage to bring cohesion to the management of flight test support data.
    • Open Architecture Telemetry Processing Systems

      McMillen, Mark D.; AP Labs (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      With the move toward design and interface standards in data acquisition and processing hardware and software, the development of open architecture telemetry processing systems has moved from a goal to a reality. The potential for a system to support hardware and software from a variety of vendors, allow inclusion of user-written software and user-provided interfaces, and provide a scalable, growth oriented processing capability can now be realized. This paper discusses the open architecture concept throughout the hardware and software components of the typical telemetry processing system. Utilizing such a system ensures flexibility to support different configurations, better and faster analysis through greater user programmability, and overall reduced costs by providing a system that can grow as future hardware and software components are brought to market.

      Chang, Dah W.; Edwards Air Force Base (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      The Advanced Airborne Test Instrumentation System (AATIS), one of the major instrumentation systems in use today by the Department of Defense (DoD), was developed in the late 1980's to improve and modernize its predecessor - the Airborne Test Instrumentation System (ATIS). Use of AATIS, by not only the Air Force but the Navy and Army, has improved instrumentation commonality and interoperability across multiple test programs. AATIS, developed by the same manufacturer as the DoD Common Airborne Instrumentation System (CAIS), has a common bus structure - enabling cross utilization of many components which will ease transition from one system to another. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview on the Advanced ATIS System and its logistics support concept. For system description, an overview is presented on the airborne system and related ground support equipment. A brief description is given on the three levels of maintenance being used or planned for by the using activities. Finally, a projection is presented on the utilization of this system for the next 3 years.
    • Video Repeater for the Dry Valleys Region of Antarctica

      Peebles, Michael J.; Robertson, William G., Jr.; Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      A repeater is being designed to provide a telemetry and compressed video link from a remote robot located in the Dry Valleys Region of Antarctica, over a mountain range to California via McMurdo Antarctica. In return a command link is provided for control. A simple task normally, but a bit more difficult when considerations include the unforgiving elements of Antarctica itself. Even with a design using the most robust equipment, tradeoffs must always be made for the effects of the isolation and the weather. This paper describes one approach to the design of equipment capable of insuring the proper bandwidth, power output, and receive sensitivity that can use the energy provided by Mother Nature to continually charge the primary power source, and the engineering struggle to use electronic equipment in the severe and harsh environment of Antarctica.

      Gaddis, William R. Jr; Sandland, Sawn; Edwards Air Force Base (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      DOD flight test centers need affordable, small-format, flight-qualified digital instrumentation recording solutions to support existing and future flight testing. The Advanced Airborne Test Instrumentation System (AATIS) is today's primary data acquisition system at the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC). Digital Recorder (DR) 1995 is planned to provide full support for AATIS output capabilities and satisfy initial recording requirements for the Common Airborne Instrumentation System (CAIS). The follow-on to the AATIS, the CAIS is a tri-service development to satisfy future DOD flight test data acquisition requirements. DR 2000 is planned as the future recording solution for CAIS and will be able to fully satisfy the 50 Mbps recording requirement. In the developments of DR 1995 and DR 2000, commonality and interoperability have emerged as significant issues. This paper presents an overview of these recording solutions and examines commonality and interoperability issues.
    • An Enhanced Resolution Spaceborne Scatterometer

      Long, David G.; Brigham Young University (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Spaceborne wind scatterometers are designed principally to measure radar backscatter from the ocean's surface for the determination of the near-surface wind direction and speed. Although measurements of the radar backscatter are made over land, application of these measurements has been limited primarily to the calibration of the instrument due to their low resolution (typically 50 km). However, a recently developed resolution enhancement technique can be applied to the measurements to produced medium-scale radar backscatter images of the earth's surface. Such images have proven useful in the study of tropical vegetation3 as well as glacial5 and sea6 ice. The technique has been successfully applied2 to Seasat scatterometer (SASS) data to achieve image resolution as fine as 3-4 km. The method can also be applied to ERS-l scatterometer data. Unfortunately, the instrument processing method employed by SASS limits the ultimate resolution which can be obtained with the method. To achieve the desired measurement overlap, multiple satellite passes are required. However, with minor modifications to future Doppler scatterometer systems (such as the NASA scatterometer [NSCAT] and its follow-on EoS-era scatterometer NEXSCAT) imaging resolutions down to 1-2 km for land/ice and 5-10 km for wind measurement may be achieved on a single pass with a moderate increase in downlink bandwidth (from 3.1 kbps to 750 kbps). This paper describes these modifications and briefly describes some of the applications of this medium-scale Ku-band imagery for vegetation studies, hydrology, sea ice mapping, and the study of mesoscale winds.
    • Software Techniques for Recovering Noisy Telemetry

      Sweet, John E.; Holmes, Harlan H.; Rockwell International Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Software techniques for data quality and useability enhancement are used at two steps in the processing of PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) radio telemetry. The first is a software group synchronization which is used where traditional method has failed. The other is a tool for producing a single best quality data file from diverse receivers. Recovering even small segments of valid information from noisy signals may be of major concert. The importance in many applications is because poor signal power is induced by events of great interest such as failure, detonation or exhaust gas dynamics. The radio receiver and bit synchronizer perform nearly optimally in processing of low signal to noise transmissions. It is found that the group synchronization process can be improved with software algorithm. It is convenient to merge available data from a single test into a single file of best available data. Detected signals are recorded at dispersed tracking stations with varying signal quality over time. Upon achieving the best data from each tracking source the reconstructed data from a collection of all sources is further merged. By using known content to detect bit errors a single file of best quality data is available for analysis. Comparative performance data from use on ICBM telemetry is included. A missile is an example of application where the data recovery is particularly critical at events such as staging and launch.
    • Solid State Data Recorder (SSDR) for Airborne/Space Environment

      Intwala, Jay D.; Wyle Laboratories (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      VME bus has been widely accepted as an industry standard for control and process computers. The MSTI (Miniature Sensor Technology Integration) series of satellites employ a VME bus based data acquisition and control system. This system requires a ruggedized, high-speed, compact, low power and light weight data recorder for storing digital imagery from payload video cameras, as well as health and status data of the satellite. No commercial off the shelf systems were found which meet MSTI specifications. Also, a solid state device eliminates certain reliability and spacecraft pointing control problems which are encountered when using rotating (disk or tape) storage systems. The SSDR was designed to meet these requirements and it also has built-in flexibility for many general purpose applications. The electronic hardware design, which conforms to the VME bus specifications [1], can also be configured as stand-alone system. Modular memory array design allows expandability of capacity up to 320 MBytes. This paper will describe the design features of the SSDR. Performance capabilities and system implementation will be discussed. Special approaches required for application of the SSDR in space or harsh environments are also discussed.
    • The Phillips Laboratory's Mobile Ground Telemetry Station (MGTS) Configuration and Operations

      Flint, Keith D.; Mathis, Gregory P.; Cronauer, Tom G.; Philips Laboratory (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      In support of the various programs that the Phillips Laboratory's Space Experiments Directorate is conducting for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), the Range Operations Division is developing a mobile telemetry processing system as part of the Mobile Ground Telemetry Station (MGTS) program. The MGTS program's goals are to develop a mission-dedicated telemetry system to supplement current test range capabilities by receiving, processing and recording multiple data streams, sometimes exceeding 10 Mbps. The system will support airborne and suborbital vehicles as well as customized satellite downlinks designed for spacecraft bus State-of-Health monitoring and sensor payload observations. Autonomy and off-road capabilities are also important factors since some of the operations envisioned require deployment to remote field locations where no telemetry processing capabilities currently exist to support the unique data handling requirements. The Phillips Laboratory has completed, with support from Wyle Laboratories and Systems Engineering and Management Company (SEMCO), a "proof-of-concept" mobile telemetry processing system referred to as MGTS #2. Demonstration of the system has been accomplished with the successful deployment and operational support provided to both BMDO's Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile (LEAP) sub-orbital missions and Miniature Sensor Technology Integration (MSTI) satellite program. MGTS #2 has deployed and is scheduled for further deployment to various operating sites including: White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), NM; Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC), Edwards AFB, CA; Vandenberg AFB, CA; and NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility, VA. While deployed MGTS #2 processes, records and rapidly distributes the critical mission telemetry data conforming to both IRIG and SGLS standards. This paper will describe the evolution of the MGTS program, current hardware configurations and the various mission scenarios that have been supported by the MGTS team.
    • An Ultrasonic Angular Measurement System

      Redd, Justin D.; Edwards Air Force Base (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      An original design is presented for a system capable of measuring the relative angle of a flat surface using reflected ultrasonic wave pulses. No physical contact with the surface is necessary. The measurement range is from 0 to 54 degrees. Theoretical resolution is 5 minutes of arc, with actual measured resolution of approximately 20 minutes of arc. The system has performed successfully in limited flight tests, is capable of rates up to 80 angle measurements per second, and has a solid-state memory recording capacity of 24,000 bytes. The measurements are time-tagged as they are recorded and may be transferred to a personal computer at a later time over a standard RS-232 serial communications link. The system is small (approx. 6 by 4 by 1.5 inches) and uses two standard 9-volt batteries as its power source.

      Policella, Joseph; White, Joey; Shillington, Keith; CAE-Link Corporation; Fastrak Training Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      To model the "black boxes" in a command and telemetry simulation, it is important to preserve the abstraction of a one-to-one match between the real-world interfaces and the simulated interfaces. Everywhere a physical interface exists on the box, there needs to be a simulated interface. Preserving this abstraction allows the model to evolve more naturally with real-world design changes. In most command and telemetry systems, many different types of commands and telemetry can be sent over a single interface. This creates a problem in preserving the interface abstraction if the Ada language is used for implementation. Due to the fact that Ada is a "strongly typed" language, a different or overloaded operation needs to exist for each type of command or telemetry. However, by using a "discriminated variant record" to represent the commands and telemetry streams, a single operation can be used in the Ada specification. This not only preserves the abstraction but makes the software more maintainable by allowing the data list to change during the design of the "black box" without changing the Ada specification. As a result, "loose coupling" is achieved, a common set of commands and telemetry formats can be "inherited" to promote reuse, and overall system development and maintenance costs are reduced.

      Smith, Quentin D.; CSTI (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      As technology progresses we are faced with ever increasing volumes and rates of raw and processed telemetry data along with digitized high resolution video and the less demanding areas of video conferencing, voice communications and general LAN-based data communications. The distribution of all this data has traditionally been accomplished by solutions designed to each particular data type. With the advent of Asynchronous Transfer Modes or ATM, a single technology now exists for providing an integrated solution to distributing these diverse data types. This allows an integrated set of switches, transmission equipment and fiber optics to provide multi-session connection speeds of 622 Megabits per second. ATM allows for the integration of many of the most widely used and emerging low, medium and high speed communications standards. These include SONET, FDDI, Broadband ISDN, Cell Relay, DS-3, Token Ring and Ethernet LANs. However, ATM is also very well suited to handle unique data formats and speeds, as is often the case with telemetry data. Additionally, ATM is the only data communications technology in recent times to be embraced by both the computer and telecommunications industries. Thus, ATM is a single solution for connectivity within a test center, across a test range, or between ranges. ATM can be implemented in an evolutionary manner as the needs develop. This means the rate of capital investment can be gradual and older technologies can be replaced slowly as they become the communications bottlenecks. However, success of this evolution requires some planning now. This paper provides an overview of ATM, its application to test ranges and telemetry distribution. A road map is laid out which can guide the evolutionary changeover from today's technologies to a full ATM communications infrastructure. Special applications such as the support of high performance multimedia workstations are presented.
    • Telemetry System User Interface for Windows™

      Windingland, Kim; LaPlante, John; Loral Instrumentation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Due to the rapid advancement of technology in GUI design tools within Microsoft Windows™, a sophisticated human-machine interface can be developed for telemetry systems. A PC Windows™-based telemetry system would effectively provide a "bridge" between the telemetry world and the Windows™ world, bringing many low cost off-the-shelf software and hardware tools into the telemetry realm that has been unprecedented. This paper describes the results of such an approach in the development of Loral's Visual Telemetry System (VTS) software.
    • Reusable Software Components for Monitoring and Control of Telemetry Processing Systems

      Costenbader, Jay; Thorn, Karen; NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has developed a set of functional telemetry processing components based upon Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) and Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC). These components provide a framework for the assembly of telemetry data ground systems for space projects such as the Earth Observing System (EOS) and the Small Explorer (SMEX) mission series. Implementation of the ground systems for such projects using a common set of functional components has obvious cost benefits in both systems development and maintenance. Given the existence of these components, the next logical step is to utilize a similar approach and create a set of reusable software components for the implementation of telemetry data system monitoring and control functions. This paper describes a generalized set of software components, called the Telemetry Processing Control Environment (TPCE), which has been developed to fulfil this need. This combination of hardware and software components enables the rapid development of flexible, cost-effective telemetry processing systems capable of meeting the performance requirements facing NASA in the coming decade.
    • Batch Processing of Flight Test Data

      Turver, Kim D.; Boeing Commercial Airplane Group (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Boeing's Test Data Retrieval System not only acts as an interface between the Airborne Data Acquisition System and a mainframe computer but also does batch mode processing of data at faster than real time. Analysis engineers request time intervals and measurements of interest. Time intervals and measurements requested are acquired from the flight tape, converted to first order engineering units, and output to 3480 data cartridge tape for post processing. This allows all test data to be stored and only the data of interest to be processed at any given time.
    • On The Move, Interactive Telemetry Data Acquisition System for the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

      Kirkpatrick, Charles R.; Tuncay, A. Ayban; Inter-Coastal Electronics (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      This paper describes the Launcher Instrumentation and Data Acquisition System (LIDAS) that has been developed for real-time monitoring and simultaneous recording of a diverse set of data buses on a moving MLRS launcher. The launcher onboard instrumentation consists of a central Bus Data Conversion Module (BDCM) and several specialized, intelligent "break-in" boxes. The break-in boxes collect and tag the data by using the IRIG-B standard time-code, and transfer them to the BDCM using a unique asynchronous scheme. The BDCM is built around an Intel 80960CA processor board in a VME bus environment. It coordinates all the data traffic and also stores selected data to an onboard Flash ROM data storage unit. The data from different MLRS buses are combined into a 1 megabits per second RS4-22 serial stream and telemetered to a ground station, where the user interface is provided through an IBM PC/AT type computer with touch-screen controls. The developed PC software offers several data monitoring options with engineering-unit conversions and allows simultaneous recording on a hard-disk. Because of its interactive capabilities, the system is also well suited for personnel training.