• An Approach for Standardization of Datalink Systems

      Bolino, John V.; Lenz, Russell W. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      The paper explores the concept of standardization of datalink systems and makes a call for industry involvement in the process of defining an approach to standardization. The objectives are to reduce the Department of Defense (DoD) cost of Major Range and Test Facility Base (MRTFB) operations, to improve interoperability, to have the flexibility to meet unique user needs, to have compatibility with existing systems and standards, and to have the ability to evolve to a next generation of datalink systems. The paper describes several current DoD Central Test and Evaluation Investment Program (CTEIP) projects and shows how dependent and interdependent they are on datalink systems. A new Joint Service CTEIP project, Standard Interoperable Datalink System (SIDS), will become the facilitator in the process of defining a standard datalink, including weapon system/platform telemetry, time-space-position information, target command and control, voice communications, time correlation data, and possibly video.
    • TRADAT VI Telemetry Ranging System

      Bertenshaw, Thomas G.; Oklahoma State University (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Frequently a requirement exists to track sounding rockets or balloons from remote locations which have no radar capability. Occasionally, there is also a requirement to provide an alternative to radar tracking at those locations where it exists. TRADAT VI satisfies both requirements by providing vehicle positional from telemetry. In addition, it also provides real-time trajectory plots by its graphical display.
    • Real-Time Simulation for System Integration

      Allen, Michael P.; CTA Incorporated (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Functional integration and validation of complex systems in an operational environment, prior to delivery or installation, can be expensive. Real-time simulation, in a lab environment, can replace hardware subsystems to provide the interfaces necessary to validate and or integrate the test article. The test article can be hardware, software or firmware. Multitasking simulations can provide modeling of subsystems and environmental sensor data for complex system integration. The simulation presented provides the capability to integrate 1553 remote terminals and provide validation of 1553 bus controller software.
    • 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.
    • Mission-Independent Telemetry Processing Software for PCs

      Miller, Richard J.; Micro SciTech Ltd. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Until the early 80's, telemetry processing systems were commonly run on mainframe or mini computers running proprietary operating systems and software with limited portability. The advent of the 'low-cost' workstation reduced the hardware cost but the software still remained relatively expensive and relatively mission specific. The workstation itself, although comparatively cheap, was not, and is still not, an everyday piece of computing hardware Telemetry Processing software has been developed by Micro SciTech to meet both low-cost hardware requirements and mission independence. It runs on networked IBM PC compatible computers and can be re-configured and used for many different missions and experiments without the need for extensive software rewrites.
    • 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.
    • Windows at a Tracking Site

      Streich, Ronald G.; Townsend, Charles R.; Computer Sciences Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Rapid setup and verification of 4 automatic tracking antennas, 2 radio frequency switch matrixes, 32 telemetry receivers with 16 diversity combiners, an intermediate frequency switch matrix and the signal distribution equipment interface to the analog and digital fiber optic relay systems was required. This paper provides sample displays of the station status window, telemetry receiver and test parameter dialog boxes, mission event log window and test result windows for bit error rate, noise power ratio, solar calibration and antenna servo tests. Use of the software is apparent from sample displays so the text concentrates on lessons learned from site surveys, verification of configuration against mission files, accommodation of change of plug-in modules (e.g., IF filters in the telemetry receiver), tolerance of equipment removed from the system for maintenance, built-in test of serial and parallel communications and modular software design for replacement of equipment.
    • Space Qualified Magnetic Disk

      Treff, Arthur J.; Forella, John F.; Raymond Engineering, Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Highly reliable data storage for satellites and spacecraft is a challenging technology. The space environment is a unique combination of many environmental factors which impact the reliability and even the very survival of electronic systems. The need for space qualified memory is becoming even more important with the advent of on-board data processing which requires rapid access to large data bases. This paper describes the unique environmental and design considerations that must be taken into account for a magnetic disk that is designed to operate for years in the space environment.
    • Lowest Cost Alternative to Auto-Tracking Using GPS-TRAK, Augustin-Sullivan Distribution, & Single Axis Antenna Techniques

      Augustin, Eugene P.; Dunn, Daniel S.; Sullivan, Arthur; Technical Systems Associates, inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      The first telemetry tracking system was desired in 1959 for the space program. Cost was of little concern. The tracking technique used was 3 channel monopulse which is still today, after all these years, the optimum in performance for any type of tracking requirement. Telemetry tracking really got off the ground in the early 1970's with the move from P-Band to S-Band for telemetry. In the design of early tracking systems, performance was on the top of the list, and cost was on the bottom of the list in establishing the design criteria. By the beginning of the 1980's cost was approaching performance in importance. Today, with the demise of the cold war and a considerable reduction in global threats coupled with the state of the world economy, cost has now reached the top of the list. The cost of a telemetry tracking system can be reduced by more than a factor of two by going to a single axis tracking technique. The lowest cost single axis approach heretofore has been the use of a cosecant squared (CSC²) distribution. To improve the efficiency of a single axis system and increase the overhead coverage capability, the use of a dual beam antenna has been widely used as another type of single axis approach. The dual beam technique involves additional costs since two tracking antennas are required. Except for satellite tracking, almost all telemetry tracking is performed at low elevation angles and, like it or not, multipath is there. The multipath fade varies from a few dB, to over 20 dB depending upon the reflecting terrain. Most general purpose systems should be designed for at least a 10 dB multipath fade. For all telemetry tracking applications, the multipath effect is completely negligible at elevation angles greater than 10 degrees. The Augustin-Sullivan Distribution, in effect, fades away the multipath margin as the multipath effect decreases. Because of the multipath phenomenon, an antenna beam should not be shaped at the one dB point as is the case with a CSC² distribution, but only needs to be shaped from somewhere between the 15 - 20 dB level based on the mission requirements. This involves a gain reduction from a pencil beam on the order of 1/2 dB or less, rather than the 3 dB reduction associated with the CSC² distribution. The Augustin-Sullivan distribution does not start shaping the beam until shaping is retired, and shapes the beam for constant altitude coverage from the horizon to zenith. For the first time, coverage is provided from the peak of the beam to directly overhead with a single antenna and a single axis rotator. When GPS information is available from the tracked vehicle, the Augustin-Sullivan distribution, with a single axis rotator and using the GPS-TRAK technique, results in the lowest possible cost alternate to autotracking.
    • "Don't Leave the Pad Without It": Using Deployable Assets to Conduct Pre-Launch and On-Orbit Testing

      Morimoto, Todd; Sargent, Cliff; Onizuka Air Force Base; Loral Space and Range Systems (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      When hundreds of millions of dollars are invested in building, launching, and command/control of modern military space systems, the developers and operators need assurance that when their system achieves orbit, it will be able to "talk" with the ground network, exchanging commands, telemetry and ranging signals. Furthermore, prior to launch they need proof of compatibility with the ground data systems, showing that operational ground-based crypto keys, database parameters, and processing software are in-fact compatible with the spacecraft. This paper describes Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), Space & Missile Center (SMC) Detachment 2's four classes of deployable test assets, emphasizing deployable's contribution to successful on-orbit performance. With not only the huge dollar investment, but even more important, the ability to execute a vital test or operational mission riding on compatibility, and launch vehicle and on-orbit test and evaluation operations the watchwords are "Don't leave the pad without it."
    • Aircraft Tracking of Underwater Vehicles Equipped with Optical Beacons

      Casey, Thomas; Estes, Lee; Fain, Gilbert; Naval Undersea Warefare Center Division (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      During shallow water exercises, the performance of acoustic tracking and telemetry systems is degraded by severe multipath interference. The feasibility of an optical source attached to the underwater vehicle (UV) and a tracking aircraft-based receiver was theoretically established. Supporting water absorption and surface interaction experiments were also performed. The limiting case was the tracking of an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). The requirements of daylight operation, atmospheric visibility, limited space and weight, self-contained power, exercise duration, sample rate, optimum search area, robustness in varying scattering and sea states, non-cooperating (except for low-data-rate communications of information such as depth) source and receiver, and relative simplicity, lead to two optimum candidate systems. One system uses a commercially available 5 megawatt q switched and double laser diode pumped YAG laser operating at 532 nm and 1 Hz rep rates. The second system uses a pulsed (2 μsec) zenon flash tube. Both systems satisfy the robustness constraint by intentional beam spreading. A performance constraint of 10:1 signal to noon solar upwelling shot noise ratio was imposed. This constraint can be met for water depths of 10 and 5 absorption lengths, respectively, for the laser and incoherent systems. An optimum search diameter of approximately 700 meters (m) at an optimum aircraft elevation of 3,000 meters is calculated for both systems. The 4-inch diameter F/1 wide-angle light pulse detection system gates a 4-inch diameter F/1 intensified charged coupled device (CCD) imaging system that locates the light surface penetration point. Another candidate receiver that performs both functions is a positive sensitive photomultiplier tube with crossed wire anodes. A supporting night-time experiment has been designed and is under construction.
    • PCM/FM+FM/FM Bit Error Rate Determination by Modeling and Simulation

      Carden, Frank F.; Ara, Sharmin; New Mexico State University (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      A composite PCM/FM+FM/FM system combines the spectral efficiency of the analog system with the accuracy of a PCM system when needed for specific sensors and allows the direct transmission of binary computer words if necessary. A PCM/FM+FM/FM system combines the bit sequence with the modulated subcarriers at baseband and the resultant modulates the carrier. In the design of the composite system it is of importance to determine the impact of the subcarriers on the bit error rate of the bit sequence and to determine the degradation of the output signal-to-noise ratio of the subcarrier channels caused by the bit sequence.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Spaceborne Video Interface Module (VIM)

      Eason, Mark; Wyle Laboratories (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      The use of video imaging in VME based data acquisitions systems is increasing. Some systems require the video data to be telemetered. In telemetry systems that require video data to be sent, a dedicated video data channel is common. It is the purpose of this paper to present the combination of a video interface and a video PCM channel into one module. The name of this project is "Video Interface Module" (VIM).
    • Ground Detection System for Re-entry Vehicle' s Telemetry

      San, Lu-Ji; Yu, Zhou-Jian (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      This paper abstractly introduces the configuration, main modules, and software of the ground detection system for re-entry vehicle' s telemetry. It focuses on introducing intelligent high bit rate CAMAC(Computer Automic Mete And Control) modules, high frequency CAMAC modules, adaption between CAMAC bus and telemetry bus, and writing high bit rate data into disk under the control of CCU (Central Control Unit), etc.
    • Replacement of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Telemetry Front-End Using Very-Large-Scale Integration (VLSI)-Based Components

      Scaffidi, Charles; Stafford, Richard; Mission Operations Division; Loral AeroSys; NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Observatory Management System (HSTOMS), located at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), provides telemetry, command, analysis and mission planning functions in support of the HST spacecraft. The Telemetry and Command System (TAC) is an aging system that performs National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Communications (Nascom) block and telemetry processing functions. Future maintainability is of concern because of the criticality of this system element. HSTOMS has embarked on replacing the TAC by using functional elements developed by the Microelectronics Systems Branch of the GSFC. This project, known as the Transportable TAC (TTAC) because of its inherent flexibility, is addressing challenges that have resulted from applying recent technological advances into an existing operational environment. Besides presenting a brief overview of the original TAC and the new TTAC, this paper also describes the challenges faced and the approach to overcoming them.
    • 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.
    • 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.