• UAV Autonomy Research - Challenges and Advantages of a Fully Distributed System Architecture

      Böhm, Florian; Schulte, Axel; Universität der Bundeswehr München (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2012-10)
      A fully distributed system concept solely based on networked sensor and processing subsystem modules, both on-board of an UAV and on the side of the user interface, allows scalable systems, adaptability of the control system hierarchy without hardware changes, and a quick exchange of individual system modules. Reliable results in UAV autonomy research are requiring documentation and detailed reasoning of events and decisions during the flight tests, especially in experiments with real UAV demonstrators. This must also be ensured in the case of not available communication links. The optimal interaction of various modules on the ground and in the air is essential for an efficient overall system. To prove this, a synchronous recording of data from various sensors and automation modules as well as the recording of all user inputs is necessary. This article discusses the challenges and advantages of a fully distributed system approach. The discussion is based on experiences from an open source based implementation and deployment on two research UAV demonstrators of different payload classes (electrical glider and turbine-driven rotorcraft).
    • UDP Based Wireless Telemetry Network and Data Acquisition System for Rotary Application

      Imay, Murat; Cranley, Nikki; Atman, Ozgur; Turkish Aeroespace Ind.; Curtiss-Wright Avionics and Electronics (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2012-10)
      This paper presents an open system architecture with wireless network centric telemetry and data acquisition over UDP/IP. This networked solution was designed and developed for iron bird and helicopter rotor applications which present a significant challenge for data acquisition and telemetry. Traditionally slip rings were used for data transfer however these result in issues with low bandwidth, electrical noise, installation complexity, and high maintenance costs. This paper describes a networked system using standardized technologies and protocols that was used for data acquisition and recording of parameters such as vibration, strain, and video on DAQ installed on the rotating part. The acquired data was transmitted in real-time via the network-centric wireless telemetry link which was synchronized with a ground-based DAQ used for real time processing of the rotor data.
    • Use of IRIG 106 Chapter 10 at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

      Diehl, Michael; Swain, Jason; Wilcox, Tab; U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2012-10)
    • Use of TENA for Distributing Telemetry Data Within and Between Test Ranges

      Morris, Scott A.; Torrest, Miguel A.; Manshad, Muhanad S.; McKinley, Robert A.; TRAX International Corporation; White Sands Missile Range (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2012-10)
      Systems of Systems are becoming more the norm in technology applied to tactical military systems. Because of this it is necessary to greatly simplify the way telemetry data is formatted and shared with other systems that depend on near real-time information. This is becoming necessary for developmental testing, operational testing and tactical training in realistic battlefield environments. Interoperable data is necessary to fuse Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) participants to create realistic actual and synthetic environments for both testing and training. This need for simplified data communications is important for testing and training to link participants at different ranges, as well as to link distributed instrumentation capabilities within a single range. Live systems are either deployed tactical systems or developmental systems being evaluated for deployment. Virtual systems consist of actual tactical hardware and software operated in a laboratory environment rather than installed on operating tactical platforms (e.g. aircraft, ships or vehicles) in order to provide realistic data feeds without the expense of operating tactical platforms. Constructive participants consist of models or simulations to provide realistic effects (e.g. weather, electromagnetic threats, adjacent tactical elements, etc.) that are not available, affordable, or practical to use real assets. This Paper will describe the on-going efforts, including successes and lessons learned to-date at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
    • Using Analog Telemetry to Measure Usable Life Invasively on the Air Force's Next Generation Reusable Space Booster Equipment

      Losik, Len; Failure Analysis (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2012-10)
      Measuring and confirming equipment usable life that passes dynamic environmental factory acceptance testing (ATP) will ensure no equipment will fail prematurely increasing safety and mission assurance on the Air Force's Next Generation Reusable Space Booster (NGRSB). The same analog telemetry generated and analyzed during ATP used to measure and confirm equipment performance per the procurement contract can serve both purposes. Since the NGRSB payload lift requirement is the same as the EELV, the need for exotic combinations of reusable and throwaway components is unnecessary unless they yield new level of reliability, maintainability and supportability. A prognostics and health management (PHM) program exploits the presence of non-repeatable transient events (NRTE) (a.k.a. accelerated aging) that is missed during any engineering analysis in equipment analog telemetry to calculate equipment remaining usable life/mission life. Without an invasive physical measurement of equipment usable life, satellite and launch vehicle equipment reliability is dominated by premature equipment failures. If the Air Force continues to calculate NGRSB equipment mission life on paper, the NGRSB equipment reliability will also be dominated by infant mortality failures just as all expendable launch vehicle equipment is. The Air Force's, Markov-based reliability paradigm used to procure Air Force satellites and launch vehicles, results in space mission infant mortality failure rate as high as 25%/year. According to the Aerospace Corporation, Air Force space vehicle equipment that passes both equipment level and vehicle level ATP has a 70% likelihood of failing prematurely within 45 days after arriving in space. If a PHM is used on the NGRSB, it stops premature failures and lowers life overall cycle cost providing superior reliability, maintainability, supportability and availability for future Air Force space missions that are too important and too expensive to fail prematurely.
    • Using Telemetry to Confirm Equipment Performance and mission Life Requirements

      Losik, Len; Failure Analysis (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2012-10)
      The tools, technologies, practices, policies, procedures and procurement process developed and implemented over 50 years to produce highly reliable spacecraft and spacecraft subsystem equipment have yielded spacecraft and launch vehicles whose reliability is dominated by premature equipment failures and surprise equipment failures at yearly rates as high as 25% that increase risk and decrease safety, mission assurance and effectiveness. Large, complex aerospace systems such as aircraft, launch vehicle and satellites are subjected to most exhaustive and comprehensive acceptance-testing program at the factory that is also used in other industries and that also suffer from the high premature failure rates. Desired/required spacecraft equipment performance is measured confirmed during factory testing, however equipment usable/mission life requirement is not measured but calculated manually and so the spacecraft and launch vehicle equipment that will fail prematurely are not identified and replaced before use. Spacecraft equipment mission-life is calculated using stochastic equations from probability reliability analysis engineering standards such as MIL STD 217. The change in the engineering practices used to manufacture and test spacecraft to identify the equipment that will fail prematurely include using a prognostic and health management (PHM) program. The PHM includes using predictive algorithms to convert equipment analog telemetry of any type into a measurement of equipment usable life by demodulating the telemetry behavior in time, amplitude, frequency and phase. The conversion of equipment analog telemetry from performance data to a measurement of usable life is done in a prognostic analysis. A prognostic analysis includes an engineering analysis that is shared with manufacturing and test, but results in premature equipment failures at rates as high as 70% once the equipment gets to space in space, but also includes a scientific analysis of the analog telemetry so that conjecture and speculation is not used to identify the presence as systemic noise.
    • Using Telemetry to Measure Equipment Mission Life on the NASA Orion Spacecraft for Increasing Astronaut Safety

      Losik, Len; Failure Analysis (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2012-10)
      The surprise failure of two NASA Space Shuttles and the premature failures of satellite subsystem equipment on NASA satellites are motivating NASA to adopt an engineering discipline specifically developed for preventing surprise equipment failures. The NASA Orion spacecraft is an Apollo module-like capsule planned to replace the NASA Space Shuttle reusable launch vehicle for getting astronauts to space and return to the earth safely as well as a crew escape vehicle stored at the ISS. To do so, NASA is adopting a non-Markov reliability paradigm for measuring equipment life based on the prognostic and health management program on the Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The decision is based on the results from the prognostic analysis completed on the Space Shuttle Challenger and Columbia that identified the information that was present but was ignored for a variety of reasons prior to both accidents. The goal of a PHM is to produce equipment that will not fail prematurely and includes using predictive algorithms to measure equipment usable life. Equipment with transient behavior, missed by engineering analysis is caused from accelerated of parts will fail prematurely with 100% certainty. With the processing speed of today's processors, transient behavior is caused from at least one part suffering from accelerated aging. Transient behavior is illustrated in equipment telemetry in a prognostic analysis but not in an engineering analysis. Telemetry is equipment performance information and equipment performance has been used to increase reliability, but performance is unrelated to equipment remaining usable life and so equipment should be failing prematurely. A PHM requires equipment telemetry for analysis and so analog telemetry will be available from all Orion avionics equipment. Replacing equipment with a measured remaining usable life of less than one year will stop the premature and surprise equipment failures from occurring during future manned and unmanned space missions.
    • Video Tracking System for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

      Allen, Chris; Lee, Matthew; Lierz, Daniel; Younger, Jerome; University of Kansas (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2012-10)
      Surveillance and tracking using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is a growing field and to visually track an object independent of a flight path requires a video transmission and control system. Applications utilizing UAVs to track a stationary or moving target are plentiful, from military to local law enforcement; every application introduces an alternative to placing a human into an aircraft and increases the usefulness over a fixed position recorded video. Here we have introduced a cost effective video tracking system that will provide a constant video transmission, manual control for tracking, and further implement an automatic control system to automatically correct for the UAV's roll and yaw. The video tracking system has been designed to be cost friendly while constrained to be applicable for small UAV applications. We have detailed the successful design of our system that overcomes the imposed constraints in great detail in the sections that follow.
    • A Wireless Sensor Network Powered by Microwave Energy

      Adams, Emily; Albagshi, Ayman; Alnatar, Khaleel; Jacob, Gregory; Mogk, Nathan; Sparrold, Alexis; University of Arizona (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2012-10)
      Systems that monitor environments often rely on cumbersome wires to supply power to the sensing equipment or batteries that require monitoring and replacement. As technologies continue to advance, the use of self-sustaining, wireless powering becomes more essential to satisfy challenging requirements that necessitate continuous measurement and general functionality. This paper focuses on the creation of a wireless sensor network with emphasis on the implementation of wirelessly charged sensing nodes by utilizing microwaves. Three subsystems make up this "proof of concept" wireless sensor system: a power transmitting base station, three sensor nodes, and a communication base station. Interfacing and power regulation are of the utmost importance in order to ensure all of the subsystems are able to communicate with one another and power all necessary functions. The power transmitting base station transmits microwaves to the nodes. A rectenna on each node converts the transmitted microwaves into DC power. Each node contains sensors to monitor the temperature and light of the environment. For the communication aspect of the system, Zigbee protocol, which belongs to IEEE 802.15.4 protocol, is used fore wireless communication between the base station and the nodes. Through the combination of power regulation, microwave energy, and radio transmission, users are able to utilize this system to collect environmental sensor data wirelessly.
    • Wirelessly Controlled Light Suit

      Hampshire, Scott; Portillo, Walter; Oler, Neil; Anderson, Clayton; Brigham Young University (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2012-10)
      This paper describes the design and implementation of electroluminescent light suits used by the BYU Ballroom Dance Team. The suits are controlled via a radio. The light suit design process comprised suit design and construction, control box design and construction, and a GUI implementation for a transmitting laptop station. These tasks were divided between nine team members and completed over a three-month time period. Each task had its own challenges, but through the hard work and dedication of team members, the project was successful.