• DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF AN OPTICAL TELEMETRY SYSTEM

      Spjut, Erik; Acon, Chris; George, Nisha; Kimbrell, Scott; Pivonka, Dan; Rowland, Clarence; Schulze, W. Buck; Harvey Mudd College (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2007-10)
      The Edwards Air Force Base Undergraduate Clinic Team at Harvey Mudd College designed, built and tested a laser-based telemetry system for use on test aircraft at the EAFB Flight Test Center. The system was designed to communicate from an aircraft to a stationary, terrestrial receiver at a distance of up to 60 miles while traveling at speeds up to 230 mph. The transmitter system is restricted to the size of a standard 4’ tall 19" wide equipment rack. The transmitter is designed to maintain a constant laser footprint diameter of 100 meters at the receiver and use both coarse acquisition and closed-loop fine tracking systems. The minimum data rate is 10 Mbps. Sub-system testing and integration was not completed. Completed sub-systems included GPS/INS-based tracking (for coarse-tracking), position-sensitive-detector (PSD) optics (a finetracking system component), a transmitter gimbal assembly, software used to integrate and control hardware at the transmitter and receiver, and a complete receiver system. A PSD-based tracking system and an automatic collimation system were designed and constructed, but only partially tested.