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AbstractDue to the limited availability of L Band spectrum for non-government use, the National Test Pilot School (NTPS) has implemented a C Band airborne mobile telemetry (AMT) datalink system in order to continue to fulfill its mission to educate and train military and civilian flight test personnel. Instrumented aircraft were upgraded to support a PCM stream with higher resolution data and higher data rates required during performance & flying qualities and loads & flutter testing. This technology upgrade included a ground system that was both L and C Band capable and used a Smartronix Telemetry Receiver Processor to convert RF-to-IRIG Chapter 10 UDP packets for a direct input to an IADS® server in the NTPS control room. To achieve the similar performance to the legacy L Band datalink, a high gain, C Band antenna and low noise amplifier were installed as well as a new antenna rotator that allowed for higher precision movements and 360-degree continuous rotation in the pan axis. This paper will discuss the design analyses for and flight testing of the NTPS C Band datalink.
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