• Automating Telemetry Tracking Systems Operational Tests

      Pedroza, Moises; White Sands Missile Range (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2001-10)
      Automating Telemetry Tracking Systems Operational Readiness Tests is a concept that was introduced at White Sands Missile Range in the early 1980’s. The idea was to determine the condition of a Telemetry Tracking System in a reliable manner in a short time as possible. A series of RF and Servo Tests designed to determine the condition of a Telemetry Tracking System was implemented using HP BASIC. The latest personal computers are faster and have more storage capacity plus the capability to be programmed in higher level languages such as C/C++ and LabView. This technology makes it easier to automate system tests. Many of these tests need to be conducted just prior to supporting a mission. Some tests are required to be performed on mobile systems after moving the system from one location to another, especially if the move was over long distances and rugged terrain. Tests such as G/T are conducted before each mission because it yields accurate information on the Figure of Merit, or, System Sensitivity. Noise Figure Measurements are more difficult to perform to determine the System Sensitivity since modern RF Subsystems have pre-amplifiers with Noise Figures of less than 1.0 dB. The “down-sizing” of personnel increases the possibility of failure in mission support scenarios due to the many critical readiness tests needed to assess the Telemetry Tracking Systems. Also, conventional test methods can be time consuming and are subject to human error. This paper describes four critical tests that have been automated to improve reliability of the test data and decrease the amount of time required to conduct the tests. The “C/C++” language was used to write the automation programs. More tests will be automated later.