• Advanced Test Range Verification at RF Without Flights

      Williams, Steve; RT Logic (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2010-10)
      Flight and weapons test ranges typically include multiple Telemetry Sites (TM Sites) that receive telemetry from platforms being flown on the range. Received telemetry is processed and forwarded by them to a Range Control Center (RCC) which is responsible for flight safety, and for delivering captured best source telemetry to those responsible for the platform being flown. When range equipment or operations are impaired in their ability to receive telemetry or process it correctly, expensive and/or one-of-a-kind platforms may have to be destroyed in flight to maintain safety margins, resulting in substantial monetary loss, valuable data loss, schedule disruption and potential safety concerns. Less severe telemetry disruptions can also result in missing or garbled telemetry data, negatively impacting platform test, analysis and design modification cycles. This paper provides a high level overview of a physics-compliant Range Test System (RTS) built upon Radio Frequency (RF) Channel Simulator technology. The system is useful in verifying range operation with most range equipment configured to function as in an actual mission. The system generates RF signals with appropriate RF link effects associated with range and range rate between the flight platform and multiple telemetry tracking stations. It also emulates flight and RF characteristics of the platform, to include signal parameters, antenna modeling, body shielding and accurate flight parameters. The system is useful for hardware, software, firmware and process testing, regression testing, and fault detection test, as well as range customer assurance, and range personnel training against nominal and worst-case conditions.