• Data Acquisition Blasts Off - Space Flight Testing

      Curry, Diarmuid; ACRA Control Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      In principle, the requirements for a flight test data acquisition system for space testing (launch vehicles, orbiters, satellites and International Space Station (ISS) installations) are very similar to those for more earth-bound applications. In practice, there are important environmental and operational differences that present challenges for both users and vendors of flight test equipment. Environmental issues include the severe vibration and shock experienced on take-off, followed by a very sharp thermal shock, culminating (for orbital vehicles) in a low temperature, low pressure, high radiation operating environment. Operational issues can include the need to dynamically adapt to changing configurations (for example when an instrumented stage is released) and the difficulty in Telemetering data during the initial launch stage from a vehicle that may not be recoverable, and therefore does not offer the option of an on-board recorder. Addressing these challenges requires simple, rugged and flexible solutions. Traditionally these solutions have been bespoke, specifically designed equipment. In an increasingly cost-conscious environment engineers are now looking to commercial off-the-shelf solutions. This paper discusses these solutions and highlights the issues that instrumentation engineers need to consider when designing or selecting flight test equipment.
    • Data Flow and Remote Control in the Telemetry Network System

      Laird, Daniel T.; Morgan, Jon; Edwards Air Force Base (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      The Central Test and Evaluation Investment Program (CTEIP) Integrated Network Enhanced Telemetry (iNET) program is currently developing new standards for wired-wireless local area networking (LAN-WLAN) using the Internet Protocol (IP), for use in telemetry (TM) channels, under the umbrella of the Telemetry Network System (TmNS). Some advantages of TmNS are real-time command and control of instrumentation, quick-look acquisition, data retransmission and recovery ('gapless TM' or 'PCM backfill'), data segmentation, etc. The iNET team is developing and evaluating prototypes, based on commercial 802.x and other technologies, in conjunction with Range Commander's Council (RCC) Inter-Range Instrumentation Group (IRIG) standards and standards developed under the iNET program.
    • Design and Implementation of an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for Small Diameter Ballistic Applications

      Bukowski, Edward F.; Brown, T. Gordon; Aberdeen Proving Ground (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      The US Army Research Laboratory currently uses a variety of ballistic diagnostic systems for gathering aerodynamic information pertaining to gun launched munitions. Sensors are a vital component of each of these diagnostic systems. Since multiple sensors are commonly used, they are often configured into a sensor suite or inertial measurement unit (IMU). In order to gather information on smaller diameter projectiles, a small diameter IMU was designed using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) sensors and components. This IMU was first designed with a 21.6mm diameter and then later reintegrated into a 17.5mm diameter unit. The IMU provides up to ten sensor data channels which can be used to make in-flight projectile motion measurements. These measurements are then used in the determination of the projectile's aerodynamics. It has been successfully flight tested on a variety of projectiles. It has been used in conjunction with an on-board recorder (OBR) to take measurements on 40mm and 25mm projectiles. It has also been used in a telemetry based system on-board a flare stabilized 25mm projectile. This paper covers the design of the IMU and gives examples of various sensor data.
    • Design Considerations for Networked Data Acquisition Systems

      Cranley, Nikki; Corry, Diarmuid; ACRA Control Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      Ethernet technology offers numerous benefits for networked Flight Test Instrumentation (FTI) systems such as increased data rates, flexibility, scalability and most importantly interoperability owing to the inherent interface, protocol and technological standardization. However, the best effort nature of Ethernet is in sharp contrast to the intrinsic determinism of tradition FTI systems. The challenge for network designers is to optimize the configuration of the Ethernet network to meet the data processing demands in terms of reliability and latency. This paper discusses the necessary planning and design phases to investigate, analyze, fine-tune and optimize the networks performance.
    • The Design of a Video Acquisition System for JSF

      Vu, Doug; Roach, John; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics; Telectronics Technology Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      The F-35 program, known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), is the largest DOD program ever awarded. There are three F-35 variations, each intended to meet the specific needs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Allies. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter represents the newest advanced military aircraft to make use of Fibre Channel as its primary avionics information transport network. In addition to its use for carrying tactical information systems data, the Fibre Channel network will also transport the real-time digital video used in the cockpit; primarily the pilot's helmet mounted display (HMD) and the high-resolution configurable panoramic cockpit display (PCD). In addition to the fighter's instrumentation configuration for orange wire and avionics data, the aircraft will carry a separate instrumentation package to allow for both the recording and telemetry of either high-resolution Fibre Channel digital video or standard resolution analog video inputs during flight tests. This multiplexer is designed to record cockpit video and audio data, while supporting an option for the test engineer to select up to three out of eight video and audio inputs for real-time telemetry to the ground. This paper describes the architecture of this system, along with the techniques used to reduce the 5 MBps Fibre Channel digital video to a bandwidth acceptable for telemetry.
    • The Design of Web-Oriented Distributed Post-Flight Data Processing Network System

      Dang, Huaiyi; Zhang, Junmin; Wang, Jianjun; Chinese Flight Test Establishment (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      It talks about a distributed net-based flight test raw data processing system, web-oriented and application oriented. The system likes a normal one, consists of database servers, web servers and NAS storage server, but with the particular distributed task scheduler servers and the calculation servers. Each type server can be a team. The user can use WEB browser with the help of OCX control to setup his own processing task according to his need, choose which plane, which flight no., and defining the parameters, flight time segments, extracting rate etc to be processed. The system can accomplish the processing using the embedded application middleware, various data processing modules in database, with the scheduler servers and processing servers. The system can meet many users' demand of huge quantity non-structural flight raw data quickly and efficient processing at the short time, ensure the flight data enhanced management, to keep from copying and distributing the great quantity raw data inefficiently and out-of-management.
    • The Development and the Evaluation of a Quasi-Real Time Decision Aid Tool

      Leite, Nelson Paiva Oliveira; Lopes, Leonardo Mauricio de Faria; Walter, Fernando; Grupo Especial de Ensaios em Vôo; Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      In an experimental flight test campaign, the usage of a real time Ground Telemetry System (GTS) provides mandatory support for three basic essential services: a) Safety storage of Flight Tests Instrumentation (FTI) data, in the occurrence of a critical aircraft failure; b) Monitoring of critical flight safety parameters to avoid the occurrence of accidents; and c) Monitoring of selected parameters that validates all tests points. At the operational side the test ranges typically works in two phases: a) In real time where the GTS crew performs test validation and test point selection with Telemetry data; and b) In post mission where the engineering crew performs data analysis and reduction with airborne recorded data. This process is time consuming because recorded data has to be downloaded, converted to Engineering Units (EU), sliced, filtered and processed. The main reason for the usage of this less efficient process relies in the fact that the real time Telemetry data is less reliable as compared to recorded data (i.e. it contains more noise and some dropouts). With the introduction of new technologies (i.e. i-NET) the telemetry link could be very reliable, so the GTS could perform data reduction analysis immediately after the receipt of all valid tests points, while the aircraft is still flying in a quasi-real time environment. To achieve this goal the Brazilian Flight Test Group (GEEV) along with EMBRAER and with the support of Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP) started the development of a series of Decision Aid Tools that performs data reduction analysis into the GTS in quasi-real time. This paper presents the development and the evaluation of a tool used in Air Data System Calibration Flight Tests Campaign. The application receives the Telemetry data over either a TCP/IP or a SCRAMnet Network, performs data analysis and test point validation in real time and when all points are gathered it performs the data reduction analysis and automatically creates HTML formatted tests reports. The tool evaluation was carried out with the instruction flights for the 2009 Brazilian Flight Test School (CEV). The results present a great efficiency gain for the overall Flight Test Campaign.
    • Development of a Synthetic Beamforming Antenna - From Drawing Board to Reality

      Kelkar, Anand; Lamarra, Norm; Vaughan, Thomas; Creative Digital Systems (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      Following-up on an ITC 2006 paper, "From RF to bits with Synthetic Beamforming", we follow the development and fielding of a Digital Beamforming (DBF) Antenna. This antenna, built for an airborne Telemetry application, supports 10 individual polarization-diverse beams and immediately converts RF to IF at the antenna element through a suite of LNBs. The IF is then digitized and all subsequent processing is performed through an array of 200+ FPGAs, including DBF, optimal combining, demodulation, and IF upconversion. We present our Model-Based Design approach, which allowed us to develop and test the system incrementally and rapidly, particularly during the transition from factory testing to flight operations, where several unexpected problems were discovered. Our software tool set enabled us to dissect the System behavior via post-mission replay, and our detailed simulations were instrumental in developing mitigation quickly. The System-level impacts and root causes of some of these issues are also discussed. We believe the flexibility of DBF and the modular software architecture were key in quickly mitigating many of these unforeseen real-world issues without hardware modification.
    • Direct Spatial Antenna Modulation for Phased-Array Applications

      Uhl, Brecken; Invertix Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      New technologies are sought to meet the requirements of evolving telemetry capabilities such as new operating bands, increased test article and ground segment collaboration, and on-the-fly quality of service (QOS) management. Smart antennas may contribute to this evolution by directing signal energy where and when it is needed. Direct spatial antenna modulation (DSAM) represents a new approach to cost-effective smart antennas potentially offering benefits such as post-amplifier modulation, polarization reconfigurability, phase-shifterless phased arrays, oscillator-less frequency conversion, and pre-receiver processing gain. The basic DSAM approach has recently been proven through analysis, simulation, and prototyping, with significant implications for future capabilities.
    • Effects of Synchronization Error on Space Time Block Codes Equipped with FSK Waveforms

      Potter, Chris; Kosbar, Kurt; Panagos, Adam; Dynetics, Inc.; Missouri University of Science and Technology (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      Space-time Coding (STC) for Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) wireless communication systems is an effective technique for providing robust wireless link performance in telemetry systems. This paper investigates the degradation in system performance when synchronization errors between the transmitter and receiver are present. Specifically, expressions that quantify the increase in symbol-error-rate as a function of symbol synchronization error are derived for a two-transmit and single receive antenna MISO system using binary frequency shift keying waveforms. These results are then extended to the MIMO case. The analytic results are verified with simulation results that show close agreement between the theoretical expressions and Monte Carlo simulation runs.
    • Electrostatic Approach for Mitigation of Communication Attenuation During Directed Energy Testing

      Kundrapu, Madhusudhan; Keidar, Michael; Jones, Charles; George Washington University; Edwards Air Force Base (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      Electrostatic approach is considered for mitigation of communication attenuation during the testing of laser powered directed energy weapon. Mitigation analysis is carried out for two target materials Al and Ti. Plasma parameters are obtained using one dimensional coupled analysis of laser-target interaction. Influence of laser beam frequency on plasma parameters is addressed. Sheath thickness is obtained using transient sheath calculations. It is found that uninterrupted telemetry can be achieved | using a maximum bias voltage of 10 kV, through Al plasma for fluences below 5 J/cm² and through Ti plasma for fluences below 2 J/cm².
    • Excel Application Leverages XML to Configure Both Airborne Data Acquisition System and Ground Based Data Processing System

      Dunnaville, Ted; Lindsey, Mark; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      Flight test instrumentation/data processing environments consist of three components: * Airborne Data Acquisition System * Telemetry Control Room * Post Test Data Processing System While these three components require the same setup information, most often they are configured separately using a different tool for each system. Vendor supplied tools generally do not interact very well with hardware other than their own. This results in the multiple entry of the configuration information. Multiple entries of data for large complex systems are susceptible to data entry errors as well as version synchronization issues. This paper describes the successful implementation of a single Microsoft Excel based tool being used to program the instrumentation data acquisition hardware, the real-time telemetry system, and the post test data processing system on an active test program. This tool leverages the XML interfaces provided by vendors of telemetry equipment.
    • Expanding the Role of Telemetry in the Aircraft and Space Vehicle Factory Acceptance Test to a Design Driver Allowing 100% Equipment to be Identified that Suffer Infant Mortality Failures

      Losik, Len; Failure Analysis (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      The aircraft, satellite, missile and launch vehicle industry suffer from catastrophic infant mortality failures rate at ~25% even after exhaustive and comprehensive factory acceptance testing is completed causing unreliable systems, program delays and cost overruns. The discovery of the presence of deterministic behavior in equipment analog telemetry generated during factory acceptance testing preceding all equipment failures, which is identifiable using prognostic analysis, eliminates infant mortality failures resulting in increased equipment reliability, lower program cost, shorter test and delivery schedule and increased equipment usable life ensuring mission success. The addition of a single, embedded analog telemetry measurement to all active equipment allowing all equipment to be identified during factory testing that fails, and all equipment that will fail within the first year of use, to be identified will allow vehicle builders to lower program cost, use less equipment, use less testing and have a shorter delivery schedule and more reliable equipment and longer equipment usable life expanding the use of telemetry to identifying equipment that will fail well into the future.
    • The F-22 Radar Instrumentation System

      Natale, Louis; Roach, John; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics; Telectronics Technology Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
    • Frequency Agile Transceiver for Advanced Vehicle Data Links

      Freudinger, Lawrence C.; Macias, Filiberto; Cornelius, Harold; NASA Dryden Flight Research Center; U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range; Hi-Val-U Consulting (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      Emerging and next-generation test instrumentation increasingly relies on network communication to manage complex and dynamic test scenarios, particularly for uninhabited autonomous systems. Adapting wireless communication infrastructure to accommodate challenging testing needs can benefit from reconfigurable radio technology. Frequency agility is one characteristic of reconfigurable radios that to date has seen only limited progress toward programmability. This paper overviews an ongoing project to validate a promising chipset that performs conversion of RF signals directly into digital data for the wireless receiver and, for the transmitter, converts digital data into RF signals. The Software Configurable Multichannel Transceiver (SCMT) enables four transmitters and four receivers in a single unit, programmable for any frequency band between 1 MHz and 6 GHz.
    • Identification and Tracking Application of Self-Configuring Sensor Networks from Off-the-Shelf Parts

      Marcellin, Michael; Xin, Hao; Wood, Kevin; Stephens, Michael Zack; Moore, Michael; Hane, Thurston; University of Arizona (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      With the cost of microprocessor systems dropping steadily, sensor networks are becoming more and more viable for replacing traditional "dumb" sensors. This presents a host of advantages to the system collecting data, and allows for unprecedented system flexibility. In parallel to these developments, RFID "tagging" has come a long way and has also entered the realm of affordable sensor solutions. The merger of these ideas enables transient, modular, and reconfigurable asset identification and tracking systems. In this paper, we explore the feasibility of implementing such a network with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) parts for real world applications. Specifically, we create a drop-in system for managing documents and records in a medical triage center, based on identifying assets and personnel by means of RFID. A self-reconfiguring sensor network provides the foundation, allows for the system to be deployed in minutes, both on a battlefield or in a hospital, and once deployed, the hospital beds may move around freely. The advantages of this platform will be discussed alongside the unique requirements that are introduced in this type of project.
    • Implementation of an LDPC Decoder Using Functional Programming Languages

      Perrins, Erik; Gill, Andy; Weling, Brett W.; University of Kansas (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      In this paper we present an implementation of a low density parity check (LDPC) decoder in the functional programming language Haskell. We describe the LDPC code in a very general sense and show how it is used in our implementation. We then discuss the advantages of using a functional programming language like Haskell to model this decoder, as well as the implications of doing so. Finally, we evaluate our model in terms of algorithm accuracy.
    • Implementation of the Viterbi Algorithm Using Functional Programming Languages

      Perrins, Erik; Gill, Andy; Bull, Tristan; University of Kansas (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      In this paper, we present an implementation of the Viterbi algorithm using the functional programming language Haskell. We begin with a description of the functional implementation of the algorithm. Included are aspects of functional programming that must be considered when implementing the Viterbi algorithm as well as properties of Haskell that can be used to simplify or optimize the algorithm. Finally, we evaluate the performance of the Viterbi algorithm implemented in Haskell.
    • Improved Error Performance in SOQPSK Modulation Using a Ternary Symbol Encoder

      Counsil, David T.; Punnoose, Ratish J.; Sandia National Laboratories (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      Telemetry transmissions have been evolving over the recent years from PCM/FM to other constant envelope modulation schemes such as SOQPSK and multi-h CPM. These newer modulations schemes have better spectral efficiency but tend to have worse error performance than optimally detected PCM/FM. We present a new ternary symbol encoder to replace the existing differential encoder and pre-coder for SOQPSK. This improves error performance while minimally affecting the spectral properties. The "reach" of the new ternary code length is not much longer than current symbol encoder, so there will not be a significant increase in synchronization time in the receiver. We provide simulation results showing the increased performance. Along the way, we also provide a simplified view of the current SOQPSK differential encoder and pre-coder.
    • iNET Deployment Process: A Case Study

      Faulstich, Raymond; Skelley, Daniel; Anderson, Brian; Computer Science Corporation; NAVAIR (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2009-10)
      Sponsored by the Central Test and Evaluation Investment Program (CTEIP), the integrated Network Enhanced Telemetry (iNET) project has created a proposed architecture for network enhancing aeronautical telemetry. Given the static nature of the current aeronautical telemetry architecture (it has not significantly changed in over 50 years), it is recognized that iNET must be carefully deployed to avoid test disruptions and safety issues. In support of a smooth transition to this new architecture, the Naval Air Warfare Division Aircraft (NAWCAD) conducted an extensive continuous process improvement project. This paper will describe the process, defined and launched by this study, to assure the safe deployment of iNET.