• 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.
    • Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer (FAST) Packet Processing System

      Shi, Jeff; Mao, Tony; Chesney, James; Speciale, Nicholas; RMS Technologies, Inc.; Data Systems Technology Division; NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      This paper describes the design of a space telemetry level zero processing system for National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer (FAST) science mission. The design is based on a prototype Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) level zero processing system, and utilizes VLSI telemetry data processing functional components, VLSI system technologies, and Object-Oriented Programming. The system performs level zero processing functions based on Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) data format [1], and features high data processing rates, highly automated operations, and Open Software Foundation (OSF)/Motif based Graphical User Interface (GUI).
    • Space-based Concepts to Support the Tactical Weather Users

      Sheets, K. Yvonne; Bennett, Roger; SPARTA, Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Recent military theater operations such as Desert Storm have underscored the need for additional support for theater users. The needs of specific user communities are varied, and it is appropriate to examine those needs and develop system concepts which can enable the tactical community to more effectively perform their mission. This paper examines the needs and requirements of the tactical weather community and how additional space-based assets could be used to increase the tactical mission effectiveness. The approach investigated is to augment the current military meteorological satellite program, DMSP, which operates in low earth orbit with a geosynchronous platform capable of data collection and dissemination within the theater. This approach has several advantages, including the ability to provide focused, long-term coverage over the theater, with real-time downlink directly to the tactical user. One of the goals of the study was to determine what combinations of sensors and communications services might be provided from a smaller satellite on the order of 1000 lbs. This study was performed to evaluate alternatives to providing the tactical military user with space-based environmental monitoring information as an augmentation to the Defense Meteorological Satellite System (DMSS). The effort was driven by the most recent requirements, the MAC SON 211-89 Tactical Weather Observing System (TWOS) and MAC SON 216-89 Tactical Forecast System (TFS). Emphasis on the study was the focus on geosynchronous augmentations to the current set of DMSS satellites, which included climatical scenarios and requirements analysis, as well as sensor technologies assessments.
    • A New Approach to Telemetry Data Decomposition and Analysis Based on Large-Capacity Semiconductor RAM

      Jun, Zhang; Qishan, Zhang; Zhihui, Zhang; Jian, Huang; Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      With the development of microelectronics and computer technology, telemetry computer systems are demanded to provide larger storage capacity and higher storage data rate than ever before. This paper fully considers various factors of a high-speed PCM fiber-optic telemetry system such as data format, data rate, data storage, the width of data storage, storage data rate. All these considerations lead to a new scheme with a semiconductor RAM and a dedicated program as its basic idea. This scheme chooses 1Mbits or 4Mbits static-RAM chips to implement the telemetry data storage device with a total capacity of 4Mbytes, 16Mbytes, or 64Mbytes. The software running on COMPAQ 386/25M or its compatibles is written in Turbo C 2. 0 to fetch, decompose, display and process data stored in the large-capacity RAM. The main task of the system processing software is to identify the flag words of frame sync-code -pattern and then demultiplex the data into separate channel data to be stored in the disk. Besides the ability to recognize specific data format, the software can also rectify data confusion to some extent. The scheme has already been proved to be efficient to receive large capacity of data with features of high data rate, high data storage in a short time.
    • Real Time Data Reduction and Analysis Using Artificial Neural Networks

      Dionisi, Steven M.; AFFTC (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      An artificial neural network (ANN) for use in real time data reduction and analysis will be presented. The use and advantage of hardware and software implementations of neural networks will be considered. The ability of neural networks to learn and store associations between different sets of data can be used to create custom algorithms for some of the data analysis done during missions. Once trained, the ANN can distill the signals from several sensors into a single output, such as safe/unsafe. Used on a neural chip, the trained ANN can eliminate the need for A/D conversions and multiplexing for processing of combined parameters and the massively parallel nature of the network allows the processing time to remain independent of the number of parameters. As a software routine, the advantages of using an ANN over conventional algorithms include the ease of use for engineers, and the ability to handle nonlinear, noisy and imperfect data. This paper will apply the ANN to performance data from a T-38 aircraft.
    • Real-Time Telemetry Data Archival and Distribution

      McFarr, Shawn; Friedman, Paul; Loral Instrumentation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      High-performance telemetry systems traditionally store prime and processed data on disk drives attached to a host computer. Bandwidth performance of host minicomputer and disk drives limit the amount of data archived to aggregate rates of a few hundred kilobytes per second. Over the years, several approaches have been used to increase performance from pre-recorded analog tape, but real-time storage still required a large host and expensive proprietary parallel disk technology. The advent of distributed architecture system networks divorced the front-end telemetry processor from direct 'DMA' connections to the host. Today's technology moves data storage to the front end for the highest performance and outward to the network for less demanding archival rates. This paper explores several schemes and implementations for increased digital data archival performance in a distributed architecture Telemetry Ground Station. It goes on to discuss the variety of industry-standard devices and media available for storage at tens of megabytes per second on Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) to slower but much less expensive optical and streaming tape drives on both the front end and network computing resources. But storage is half the task; networks serve many users requiring archived data access. The paper will also show how the sophistication of today's modern Graphical User Interface (GUI) eases data distribution for Telemetry Ground Station engineers and analysts.
    • UNIX-Compatible Real-Time Environment for NASA's Ground Telemetry Data Systems

      Horner, Ward; Kozlowski, Charles; Data Systems Technology Division; RMS Technologies, Inc.; NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      NASA's ground telemetry data systems developed by the Microelectronics Systems Branch at the Goddard Space Flight Center, use a generic but expandable architecture known as the "Functional Components Approach." This approach is based on the industry standard VMEbus and makes use of multiple commercial and custom VLSI hardware based cards to provide standard off-the-shelf telemetry processing functions (e.g., frame synchronization, packet processing, etc.) for many telemetry data handling applications. To maintain maximum flexibility and performance of these systems, a special real-time system environment has been developed, the Modular Environment for Data Systems (MEDS). Currently, MEDS comprises over 300,000 lines of tested and operational code based on a non-UNIX real-time commercial operating system. To provide for increased functionality and adherence to industry standards, this software is being transformed to run under a UNIX-compatible real-time environment. This effort must allow for existing systems and interfaces and provide exact duplicates of the system functions now used in the current real-time environment. Various techniques will be used to provide a relatively quick transition to this new real-time operating system environment. Additionally, all standard MEDS card to card and system to system interfaces will be preserved, providing for a smooth transition and allowing for telemetry processing cards that have not yet been converted to reside side-by-side with cards that have been converted. This paper describes this conversion effort.
    • Small Explorer Project (SMEX) Telemetry Processing Systems

      Brentzel, Kelvin; Speciale, Nicholas; RMS Technologies, Inc.; Data Systems Technology Division; NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      The Small Explorer (SMEX) Program at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is the first set of Goddard missions to employ Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) recommended standards(1)(2) for telemetry data transmission. These international standards form the basis for much of NASA's future telemetry data system development. The GSFC's Data Systems Technology Division (DSTD) has been heavily involved with the development of systems for both flight and ground system application of these standards since 1985 (3). The result of this effort is the development of an approach which provides basic subsystem and system solutions which meet these standards. Based on this approach, a number of generic telemetry processing systems have been adapted to meet applications for the SMEX Program. Some of these applications include: the initial capture, processing, and distribution of CCSDS data for the integration and testing of the SMEX spacecraft before launch; the ground station data acquisition, processing, and transmission; local science data distribution; and other applications involving ground system testing and verification. The purpose of this paper is to describe a number of these applications and to show how generic system elements were configured and adapted to meet all of the requirements for these applications.
    • A Small State-of-the Art Range Safety Telemetry System

      Lingerfelt, Wes; Dawson, Dan; ITT Federal Services Corp.; Veda Systems Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      The US Air Force is required to protect the lives of individuals and property in areas potentially hazardous as a result of launch vehicle failures occurring from Vandenberg AFB, California. This paper describes the application of modern telemetry processing equipment to the Range Safety function.
    • Flight Interruption System for a Small Diameter Missile with Telemeter

      Lusk, Kenneth P.; Naval Air Warfare Division, Weapons Division (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      A very restrictive down-range flight area for a small ground-to-air missile required the interruption of the flight after the missile had flown past a specialized target and telemetry data had been transmitted to a receiving station. Explosive bolts separated the missile into two sections and cables loosely attaching the two sections caused the system to tumble and therefore interrupt the flight. Because of the high dynamic forces exerted on the attaching cables, soft material "shock absorbers" were used to assure the integrity of the cables.

      Diez, Jeffrey L.; Vandenberg Air Force Base (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) introduces an important new element into the Mission planning and operation processes of the Western Range and its users. In the past, safe and successful completion of a ballistic or space operation was the primary mission of the Range. Under START, the Western Range has the added responsibility of playing a major role in the verification process necessary for a safe reduction of the world's ballistic nuclear weapons. This paper describes the impact of the Treaty on both the Western Range and its users while outlining how the Range has adapted to meet the challenges introduced by the Treaty.
    • Strategic Ballistic Missile Telemetry and START

      Havrilak, George T.; HQ USAF/XOXI (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      This paper provides a brief history of the role strategic ballistic missile telemetry has played in U.S.-Soviet and Russian arms control relations from the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) through the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II).
    • Automated Application of Calibration Factors on Telemetered Data

      Kalibjian, J. R.; Voss, T. J.; Yio, J. J.; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      A long standing problem in telemetry post processing is the application of correct calibration factors to telemetered data generated on a system which has had a history of hardware changes. These calibration problems become most exacerbated when old test data is being examined and there is uncertainty as to hardware configuration at the time of the test. In this paper a mechanism for introducing a high degree of reliability in the application of calibration factors is described in an implementation done for Brilliant Pebbles Flight Experiment Three (FE-3).
    • Automated Binding of Attributes to Telemetry Data

      Kalibjian, J. R.; Voss, T. J.; Yio, J. J.; Hedeline, B.; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Ball Aerospace Systems Group (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      An automated method is described for binding attributes to extracted data from a telemetry stream. These attributes can be used by post processing utilities to facilitate efficient analysis. A practical implementation of such a scheme is described.

      Lloyd, Joseph W. Jr (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Desktop Processors (IBM PC, PC-compatible, and Macintosh) have made a major impact on how the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD}, Patuxent River engineering community performs their work in aircraft weapons tests. The personal processors are utilized by the flight-test engineers not only for report preparation, but also for post-flight Engineering Unit (EU) data reduction and analysis. Present day requirements direct a need for improved post-flight data handling than those of the past. These requirements are driven by the need to analyze all the vehicle's parameters prior to the succeeding test flight, and to generate test reports in a more cost effective and timely manner. This paper defines the post-flight data distribution system at NAWCAD, Patuxent River, explains how these tasks were handled in the past, and the development of a real-time data storage designed approach for post-flight data handling. This engineering design is then described explaining how it sets the precedence for NAWCAD, Patuxent River's future plans; and how it provides the flight-test engineer with the test vehicle's EU data immediately available post-flight at his desktop processor.

      Oosthoek, Peter B.; National Aerospace Laboratory NLR (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Information management is of essential importance during design and operation of flight test measurement systems to be used for aircraft airworthiness certification. The reliability of the data generated by the realtime- and post-processing processes is heavily dependent on the reliability of all provided information about the used flight test measurement system. Databases are well fitted to the task of information management. They need however additional application software to store, manage and retrieve the measurement system configuration data in a specified way to support all persons and aircraft- and ground based systems that are involved in the design and operation of flight test measurement systems. At the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) a "Measurementsystem Configuration DataBase" (MCDB) is being developed under contract with the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace Programs (NIVR) and in cooperation with Fokker to provide the required information management. This paper addresses the functional and operational requirements to the MCDB, its data-contents and computer configuration and a description of its intended way of operation.

      Cardinal, Robert W.; Loral Instrumentation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      This paper describes the recently developed Loral Instrumentation ground-based equipment used to select and process post-flight test data from the Boeing 777 airplane as it is played back from a digital tape recorder (e.g., the Ampex DCRSi II) at very high speeds. Gigabytes (GB) of data, stored on recorder cassettes in the Boeing 777 during flight testing, are played back on the ground at a 15-30 MB/sec rate into ten multiplexed Loral Instrumentation System 500 Model 550s for high-speed decoding, processing, time correlation, and subsequent storage or distribution. The ten Loral 550s are multiplexed for independent data path processing from ten separate tape sources simultaneously. This system features a parallel multiplexed configuration that allows Boeing to perform critical 777 flight test processing at unprecedented speeds. Boeing calls this system the Parallel Multiplexed Processing Data (PMPD) System. The key advantage of the ground station's design is that Boeing engineers can add their own application-specific control and setup software. The Loral 550 VMEbus allows Boeing to add VME modules when needed, ensuring system growth with the addition of other LI-developed products, Boeing-developed products or purchased VME modules. With hundreds of third-party VME modules available, system expansion is unlimited. The final system has the capability to input data at 15 MB/sec. The present aggregate throughput capability of all ten 24-bit Decoders is 150 MB/sec from ten separate tape sources. A 24-bit Decoder was designed to support the 30 MB/sec DCRSi III so that the system can eventually support a total aggregate throughput of 300 MB/sec. Clearly, such high data selection, rejection, and processing will significantly accelerate flight certification and production testing of today's state-of-the-art aircraft. This system was supplied with low level software interfaces such that the customer would develop their own applications specific code and displays. The Loral 550 lends itself to this kind of applications due to its VME chassis, VxWorks operating system and the modularity of the software.
    • Digital Baseband Signal Combining

      James, Calvin L.; AlliedSignal Technical Services Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      Unlike conventional pre- or postdetection digital signal combining approaches, the Digital Baseband Symbol Combiner (DBSC) utilizes detected baseband symbol metrics from the individual antenna-receiver system symbol synchronizers as inputs to the combining process. Additionally, symbol timing from the individual synchronizers is used to aid the DBSC perform closed-loop tracking and doppler rate compensation. The DBSC can be shown to provide an equivalent signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) improvement as the conventional approaches when the individual antenna-receiver system noise is characterized as gaussian and resulting symbol metrics are considered statistically independent. This paper discusses the theoretical approach to a proposed symbol combining technique which would provide near optimum real-time data in support of the NASA Space Shuttle Orbiter ascent-phase operations at the Merritt Island complex, Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

      Gallupe, Gary; APCOM, Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      RF and IF signals must be down-converted to lower frequencies to allow storage on tape. Pre-Detection converters avoid signal distortion created in later receiver stages, however should not add noise and distortion with their conversion process.

      Rosenthal, Glenn K.; Metraplex Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      With the advancement in speed and complexity of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), Digital Signal Processing (DSP) algorithms can now be used to achieve fully programmable, multiple channel demodulation of Frequency Modulation (FM) multiplexes. This paper describes the DSP algorithms and ASIC implementation used in the design of a digital FM demodulator system. Each digital demodulator has programmable subcarrier frequency demodulation to 4 MHz, programmable digital output filtering, and tape speed compensation (TSC). The demodulator output is available in both digital form for direct computer interface and in analog form for conventional analysis.