The International Telemetering Conference/USA (ITC/USA) is dedicated to the promotion and stimulation of technical growth in telemetering and its allied arts and sciences. It is the premier annual forum and technical exhibition providing telemetry specific short courses, technical papers from professionals and students, and exhibits of the industry’s leading companies. ITC/USA is sponsored by the International Foundation for Telemetering (IFT), a non-profit corporation dedicated to serving the technical and professional interests of the telemetering community.

This collection contains the proceedings of the fourteenth International Telemetering Conference, November 14-16, 1978. The conference, sponsored by the International Foundation for Telemetering, was held at the Hyatt House Hotel in Los Angeles, California.


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Recent Submissions

  • Appendix: Sixteenth Annual Report of the Telemetering Standards Coordination Committee

    Jeske, Harold (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
  • Phase Referencing for MA Demultiplexing in the TDRSS

    Gagliardi, R. M.; University of Southern California (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    The TDRSS performance is based, to a large extent, on the ability to maintain phase coherency between user, satellite, and ground segment. This is especially true for the MA return subsystem, which uses coherent referencing for multiplexing and demultiplexing between the TDRS and ground processor. Phase noise appearing on these referencing waveforms destroy the phase coherency, and will degrade the overall MA return operation. In this paper the manner in which this phase referencing is achieved is described. In addition, the results of a preliminary study to distinguish the key MA return phase noise sources, and the manner in which each will ultimately influence performance, is presented. The results show that the return phase noise effects can be separated into "coherent" and "noncoherent" contributions, and each must be separately evaluated. The effect of the various tracking loop bandwidths throughout the link is shown, and the manner in which the specific phase noise spectra are eventually filtered is developed.
  • TIPS Real Time Acquisition, Processing and Display Subsystem

    Straehley, Erwin H.; Straehley Associates (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    The requirement to acquire, process, and display telemetry data from increasingly sophisticated test vehicles in real time is one of the, principal parameters that shaped the SAMTEC Telemetry Integrated Processing System (TIPS) design. An integrated subsystem incorporating advances in hardware design, linked by a multi-processor software element implementing three distinct processing functions to fill this requirement, is described in this paper. Most of the hardware elements, except the processor, were designed to meet the specific requirements of this system. This includes telemetry front-end acquisition equipment, electrostatic high speed printer plotters, plasma keyboard displays, and wide band links to transfer data from element to element. The processors are 32-bit word third generation midi-computers. Each element was selected or specified primarily for its ability to perform at the expected incoming data rates. The Real Time Acquisition (RTA) Software is partitioned into an executive function, an acquisition and event processing function, and a display processing function. Each function resides in its own specific computer configuration. The acquisition configuration (TPP) and display configuration (QLDA) are each replicated to provide multi-input stream and multiple independent display capabilities. Real time requirements, similar to those at SAMTEC, are evolving elsewhere. The hardware and software components described herein are easily adaptable to satisfy these requirements at a variety of other advanced telemetry data processing facilities.
  • Minimum Round-Off Noise Second-Order Digital Filter with Practical Complexity Constraints

    Yao, Kung; Hughes Aircraft Company (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    It is known that, for a specified second-order digital filter transfer function, various realizations with finite precision arithmetic can yield significantly different round-off noises. For high performance communication and radar signal processing applications, the need for low round-off noise is clear. The minimum round-off noise n-th order digital filter of Mullis-Roberts generally requires (n+1)² multipliers. Most practical systems, however, desire to use a low number of multipliers. In this paper, we consider the minimum roundoff noise second-order digital filter realization under the practical complexity constraints of using only four multipliers, two delays, and four two-input adders, The optimum constraint filter has the same complexity as the know canonic direct-form realization, yet its roundoff noise can be significantly smaller for low-frequency rejection filtering applications. Some numerical results are presented.
  • Quantization for Signal Detection and Representation

    Kassam, Saleem A.; University of Pennsylvania (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    For digital representation of analog data the minimum mean-squared-error criterion is commonly used as a criterion for the basis of optimum quantizer design. In this paper we show that in some situations measures other than the minimum mean-squared-error may be more appropriate. For the signal representation problem, it is shown that the mean-absolute-error criterion has theoretical justification, as again for some signal detection problems it is shown that the mean-squared-error criterion is not the most appropriate criterion.
  • Advanced Marine Information Delivery

    Durstenfeld, Richard; NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    SEASAT-1 is now an established fact. It is providing continuous sensing of the world's oceans and related meteorological phenomena from its satellite platform in space. What is the next step? This paper considers the information delivery challenges of the follow-on programs to SEASAT as they progress through the next decade. These include coping with the vast quantities of data to be transferred, fulfilling the temporal requirements on data delivery, and the trade-offs and developments needed to accomplish the various levels of processing required to convert sensor output into useful information. A need for critical development is clearly identifiable in the areas of low cost ground terminals capable of image extraction and image correlation; dynamic data assimilation to accomodate forecasters; low resolution onboard correlators; and low cost user advisory (display) terminals. The system planners for the Ocean Satellite advanced programs are utilizing an end-to-end data systems approach in meeting these challenges. The economic and scientific impact of delivering decision making information to the marine community in real time and in useful form is recognized and is potentially achievable.
  • Future Automated Spacecraft as an End-to-End System Element

    Bird, Thomas H.; NASA - Jet Propulsion Laboratory (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    Concepts for a highly automated spacecraft, which is much more independent of ground operations than current spacecraft, have been investigated. Applicable systems and technology requirements are identified for maximum onboard automation of mission functions. A spacecraft concept which requires infrequent ground contact while increasing mission effectiveness is described. The potential impact of such a system on end-to-end system design is discussed.
  • A Concept for a Transparent Data Acquisition and Distribution System for Spaceflight Applications

    Greene, Edward P.; NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    The emergence of "smart" sensors onboard space missions is forcing a reexamination of the procedures by which NASA acquires, multiplexes, transmits, annotates, and distributes sensor data to the user community. Increasingly we find that "smart" sensors are being planned for future space missions which will search for specific unusual phenomena and, when present, record these phenomena in great detail. This gives rise to the need for a widely varying bandwidth requirement from each instrument in response to the occurrence of phenomena that cannot be anticipated in advance. An asynchronously multiplexed packet telemetry concept is described which, within broad limits, permits instruments to acquire and transmit information at the rate appropriate for the experimental phenomena being observed. Data from a single instrument, along with the necessary ancillary data (typically time, position, and attitude), will be assembled into self-contained packets and will be subsequently transmitted over various communications links (i.e., space telemetry channel, ground communications circuits, etc.) to the experimenter's facility in near real time. Reliable error control coding will be included in each link transmission to protect the integrity of the data packets. A major objective is to make the entire data acquisition and distribution process completely transparent to the experimenter in the sense that the output terminal of the distribution system will be physically, logically, and electrically identical to that of the experiment output channel. To provide greater inter-mission portability of instruments and to reduce the instrument interfacing costs, the emerging national and international telecommunications standards (ADCCP/HDLC/SDLC, X.25, etc.) will be utilized as the instrument interface standards wherever practical. Except for the time delay imposed by propagation and nominal queueing considerations, the experimenters will observe an interface identical to that which would occur if the instrument were physically located at their facilities.
  • VLSI Memories Problems and Promise from a Military Viewpoint

    Vail, Patrick J.; Hanscom AFB (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    Many of the problems that military magnetic and mechanical memories experience can be overcome by using Very-Large-Scale-Integrated (VLSI) circuits. These VLSI memories can present problems of their own, however. This paper outlines an assessment of the state-of-the-art in military memories that was performed to identify VLSI memory technology gaps that need additional development effort.
  • MNOS Spacecraft Recorders

    Brewer, J. E.; Westinghouse Electric Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    MNOS memory components are well suited for use in spacecraft recorders. Recorder design considerations and MNOS chip requirements are reviewed, and projections for 10⁸ and 10⁹ bit recorders are presented.
  • Status Report on TDRSS

    Holmes, W. Morris, Jr.; TRW Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    The NASA Satellite Tracking and Data Network (STDN) will be replaced by the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) during the 19801's. The coverage available to user satellites will be increased dramatically and very high data rates will be provided. Real-time data analysis and adaptive satellite control will be possible with the availability of continuous two-way communications. TDRSS will provide these benefits while lowering the cost of tracking and communicating with NASA satellites. Communication requirements will be different for satellite designers in the 1980 period. TDRSS user satellites will require higher transmitter power and more sensitive receivers, and will communicate using special TDRSS modulation formats. There will be less onboard data storage. This paper provides an overview of the TDRSS as it is being built. The major system features are described, and some of the system characteristics that will affect user satellite mission planning are considered.
  • Performances of Regenerative and Nonregenerative Satellite Repeaters with MPSK Signalling

    Woo, K. T.; California Institute of Technology (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    Linear (translation), hard-limited, and demod/remod types of satellite repeaters are considered in this paper. Both uncoded and coded multiple phase shift keyed (MPSK) signals are assumed to be transmitted through these repeaters. Relative performances of these repeaters in the presence of uplink and downlink noises are then compared quantitively. Probabilities of bit errors and the computational cutoff rates are computed for 2, 4, and 8 phases PSK signals, with uplink and downlink SNR's as parameters.
  • High Speed A/D Converter Technology Survey

    Hobrock, L. W.; TRW Systems (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    Surveyed are current and future high speed A/D technologies with potential for a significant impact on future systems. Current bipolar silicon monolithic quantizers and hybrid sample-and-hold circuits are described. The gallium arsenide integrated circuit technology, including FETs and TEDs, provides speed increases from 10 to 100. Josephson Junction devices are discussed as a technology potentially offering radical increases in sample rates and reductions in power.
  • TIPS - An Integrated Solution for Multi-Mission Telemetry

    Van Dolsen, L. L.; System Development Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    The Air Force Space and Missile Test Center (SAMTEC) must provide concurrent support for a variety of missions requiring real time telemetry data acquisition and processing. An integrated system is presently going operational to replace seven individual complexes presently supporting these missions. The Telemetry Integrated Processing System (TIPS) includes six real-time input streams, a large-scale near-real-time processor, and six interactive display areas. The TIPS facilitates rapid reconfiguration to meet changing operational needs or to continue operation in the face of equipment failures. The cost and lead time required for support of new requirements and also operation and maintenance costs will be substantially reduced. TIPS is the first Air Force data system processed under the Design-to-Cost/Life Cycle Cost (DTC/LCC) philosophy; all design and specification changes are evaluated in terms of operational as well as initial costs. Notable achievements in the TIPS implementation are the Telemetry Compiler and the real-time acquisition and processing subsystems which are described in accompanying papers.
  • Fast Fourier Transform Algorithm Formulation

    Thong, Tran; General Electric Company (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    A new unified formulation of the fast Fourier transform based on the unwrapping of a multi-dimensional array is presented. The decimation in time FFT algorithms is treated in detail. The decimation in frequency algorithms is then discussed.
  • SEASAT-A: An Experiment in End-to-End Information System Design

    MacMedan, Mervyn L.; NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    The SEASAT-A ocean dynamics monitoring satellite was designed with a keen awareness of the problems of handling huge volumes of data from an Earth-orbiting applications mission. An "End-to-End" approach to the entire information system was adopted very early in the life of the Project. Some innovations introduced include the provision of a "Packet Telemetry" system which is very similar to the NEEDS program objectives, and the incorporation of an adjustable satellite clock which directly time-tags the sensor data in GMT. This paper will review the mission and information system performance, and will summarize lessons learned from the experiment in system design.
  • End-To-End Information System Design at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    Hooke, Adrian J.; NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    Recognizing a pressing need of the 1980's to optimize the two-way flow of information between a ground-based user and a remote space-based sensor, an end-to-end approach to the design of information systems has been adopted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The objectives of this effort are to ensure that all flight projects adequately cope with information flow problems at an early stage of system design, and that cost-effective, multimission capabilities are developed when capital investments are made in supporting elements. This paper reviews the End-to-End Information System (EEIS) activity at the Laboratory, and notes the ties to the NASA End-to-End Data System program.
  • A Solid State Data Recorder for Spacecraft Telemetry Applications

    Stermer, Robert L, Jr.; NASA Langley Research Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    A Solid State Data Recorder (SSDR) has been developed which offers a high reliability alternative to tape recorders in many spacecraft telemetry applications. The storage medium used in this recorder was ferrimagnetic garnet films supporting nonvolatile magnetic "bubble" domains. This technology is very flexible and permits a recorder design which can simplify much of the interface with the telemetry system. The recorder was designed using modular construction consisting of a Digital Control Unit (DCU), Power Supply, and two Memory Modules. The Digital Control Unit (DCU) is made up of four independent microprocessor controlled data channels, configuration control, and a telemetry and test interface. The configuration can be programed so that the SSDR can operate as a 1, 2, or 4 serial channel recorder, or a single 8-bit parallel channel configuration. Each channel has a complete command set and can operate independently of the other channels. Details of the system organization and operational characteristics are presented. The Memory Module was designed with 32 magnetic assemblies, or cells, each containing 16 serial 102.4K bit magnetic "bubble" memory chips. Sense and operator electronics, and field coil drive electronics are also located in the memory module. A prototype SSDR has been fabricated. This prototype is designed for 10⁸ bits of storage but was populated with 128 chips for a 1.3 x 10⁷ bit capacity. Preliminary tests indicate satisfactory operation. Results of these tests are presented and variations with designed characteristics discussed.
  • Bubble Memories for Spacecraft Mass Storage Status and Potential

    Murray, Glenn W.; Rockwell International (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    A combination of solid state technology, high storage density and nonvolatility makes Bubble Memory Technology an attractive option for spacecraft system designers. It has the potential for not only replacing conventional spaceborne mass store media such as tape but also the flexibility to be configured into mass store system resembling disks providing the designer with memory organizations for space applications not previously available. The current state of this technology is assessed in terms of memory element, memory element packaging and system design with special attention to those aspects particularly relevant to space applications. Future developments in the technology and their impact on the capability and application are also considered.
  • FET Amplifiers for Communications Applications

    Kennedy, W. Keith, Jr.; Watkins-Johnson Company (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1978-11)
    The Field Effect Transistor (FET) is revolutionizing microwave communications with both its low noise performance and high dynamic range. This paper emphasizes developed amplifier hardware available today for both ground and satellite applications. The focus is on the noise figures and output powers available from 4 to 15 GHz.

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