ABOUT THE COLLECTION

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 fourth International Telemetering Conference, October 8-11, 1968. The conference, sponsored by the International Foundation for Telemetering, was held at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

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Recent Submissions

  • Flight and Laboratory Testing of a Double Sideband FM Telemetry System

    Richardson, Robert B.; Harney, Paul F.; NASA Flight Research Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    This paper discusses the NASA Flight Research Center's laboratory and preliminary flight evaluation of a double sideband suppressed carrier constant-bandwidth telemetry system that will be used as an airborne high-frequency data recorder. Some practical limitations are illustrated, and laboratory and flight-test results are compared. No attempt is made to compare this system with systems using other forms of modulation. Results obtained using an RF link are compared with magnetic tape recording of data. Calibration requirements are included for each system.
  • Errors Resulting from Channel Filters and Adjacent Channel Crosstalk in DSB/SC Telemetry Systems

    Salter, W. E.; Frost, W. O.; Sperry-Rand Corporation; Marshall Space Flight Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    The waveform distortion resulting from adjacent channel crosstalk and from amplitude and phase nonlinearity in channel filters limits the minimum channel spacing, and hence the bandwidth utilization efficiency of a double sideband/suppressed carrier (DSB/SC) telemetry link. The paper presents results of an analysis defining the minimum achievable mean-square error when Butterworth filters are used in the DSB demodulator/demultiplexer. With data inputs consisting of band-limited random signals, solutions are given for various combinations of data order, filter order, channel spacing, and filter cut-off. The trade-off between waveform distortion and channel spacing is illustrated, and optimum locations for the filter cut-off are defined. The irremovable error based on Weiner optimum filter theory is presented as an interesting basis for comparison.
  • Output SNR of an FM Discriminator with Non-Ideal Limiting

    Schilling, D. L.; Refi, J. J.; Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn; Bell Telephone Laboratories (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    The effect of abrupt-limiting on the output of a frequency discriminator has been treated thoroughly by Middleton. This paper considers the case of smooth band-pass limiting both for the simple differentiator and for the balanced discriminator. The error function is used as a model for the smooth limiter. The idealness of the limiter is related to the quantity "μ" - the limiting hardness. The analysis reveals that for a balanced discriminator, the output signal-to-noise ratio can be made largely immune to changes in "μ". However, for the unbalanced discriminator, the signal-to-noise is not only appreciably "μ" dependent, but also a function of carrier frequency.
  • A High-Rate Telemetry System for the Mariner 1969 Mission

    Tausworthe, R. C.; Easterline, M. F.; Spear, A. J.; California Institute of Technology (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    This presentation deals with a multi-mission deep-space telemetry system, its rationale, analysis, development into hardware, and its subsequent planned application to an actual spacecraft mission whose preparation is now in progress. The spacecraft system encodes raw binary data into a comma-free, bi-orthogonal code which antipodally modulates a square-wave subcarrier, which in turn phase-modulates the downlink carrier. There is no separate signal for subcarrier, word, or symbol sync; all transmitted sideband power is thus available for data transmission.
  • The Small Astronomy Satellite (SAS) Program

    Townsend, Marjorie R.; NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    One of NASA's newest Explorer class satellite programs, the Small Astronomy Satellite (SAS), will provide much-needed information in the most recently studied fields of astronomy, X-ray, Gamma-ray, UV and IR. This paper will describe the basic spacecraft functions with emphasis on its key feature, the SAS control system, as proposed for early sky surveys, and the changes needed in it for later flights which will require a pointing capability of one arc-minute or better. Its flexibility and versatility for application to many different types of astronomy experiments will be examined.
  • Synthesis of High Data Rate Coherent Telemetry Systems

    Ma, L. N.; Stone, M. S.; Sullivan, D. P.; TRW Systems Group (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    For high data rate telemetry (above 100 Mbits/sec) multiphase modulation effectively trades transmitter power to alleviate the RF bandwidth requirements. This paper presents a unified method of synthesizing and analyzing multiphase systems. In particular, the design of multiphase modulators and three types of coherent demodulators are discussed in detail. Included is a description of 400 Mbits/sec quadriphase system fabricated by TRW which employs direct modulation and demodulation of an 8.5 GHz carrier and a transversal filter to effect matched data filtering. This system operates within 2.5 db of theoretical performance of coherent quadriphase.
  • Appendix A: Seventh Annual Report of the Telemetering Standards Coordination Committee

    Frost, Walter O. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
  • A Double Sideband-Quadrature Carrier Multiplex Telemetry System

    Gutwein, Joseph M.; Annese, Jerald F.; ADCOM (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    A novel FDM telemetry technique was developed consisting of a double sideband-quadrature carrier multiplexing system (DSB-QCM). Each subchannel in the DSB-QCM system carries two completely overlapping DSB data signals, one double-sideband modulated on the subcarrier itself, and the other on a quadrature version of the subcarrier. Demodulation with cophasal and quadrature subcarriers enables simultaneous data extraction from each channel within acceptable distortion levels. The feasibility and practicability of such a DSB-QCM telemetry system is discussed in this paper. Crosstalk levels between the quadrature multiplexed channels were measured and guardband requirements between adjacent channels were assessed for a modem comprised of three pairs of DSB-QCM channels. Crosstalk levels between uniformly loaded DSB -QCM channels were below 2% and guardband requirements equivalent to conventional DSB systems were observed. The DSB-QCM performance was also examined as a function of input SNR with two competing subcarrier synchronization methods. Subcarrier synchronization by means of synthesized reference tones coherently derived from a single pilot was demonstrated to be superior in The presence of noise to a channel reference approach in which each data channel must synchronize its own subcarrier. The major conclusion from this investigation is that DSB-QCM/FM telemetry combines the advantages of both SSB/FM and DSB/FM by accommodating as many data channels as SSB/FM but with low distortion data processing and the dc data response characteristic of DSB/FM.
  • Presampling Filtering

    McRae, D. D.; Davis, R. C.; Radiation Incorporated (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    Sampled data systems often employ lumped-parameter lowpass filters both prior to and following the sampling operation. The purpose of these filters is to reduce the error between the input and output data waveforms. The present paper discusses the effect of presampling filters on the rms interpolation error for two types of sampled data systems and gives some thumb rules for choosing such filters. The two types of sampled data systems considered are: (1) one employing only zero-order hold interpolation, and (2) one employing zero-order hold followed by the best lowpass lumped-parameter interpolation filter. The resulting expressions for rms interpolation error for sampled data systems employing lumped-parameter filters from a detailed time domain analysis are given.
  • Frequency Feed-Forward-An Open Loop Approach for Extending the Threshold and Linearity of FM Demodulators

    Pelchat, M. G.; Boor, S. B.; Radiation Incorporated (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    This paper describes Frequency Feed-Forward, an open-loop technique for lowering the FM threshold. The amount of threshold improvement with standard discriminators is discussed and experimental results with sinewave and gaussian modulation are given.
  • Communications for the Apollo Applications Programs

    Fordyce, Samuel W.; NASA (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    The Apollo Applications Program will consist of a series of extended duration manned missions in low earth orbit. The initial missions are based upon equipment and techniques proved in previous space flight programs. This is especially true of the communications systems which rely heavily on the Gemini, Saturn, and Apollo communications hardware operating with the Manned Space Flight Network. Following AAP missions may include new spacecraft developments involving television, teleprinters, satellite relays and spacecraft data management systems. These developments are described briefly, but many of them are concepts in early development stages, and it is difficult to specify the configurations that will be flown.
  • Bit Error Rates in the Presence of Untracked Time Base Fluctuation

    Roche, A. O.; Mallory, P.; General Dynamics; Dynatronics (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    This paper presents a simple four-step procedure for estimating the error probability of an NRZ PCM Synchronizer and Detector operating on an NRZ Bit Stream in the presence of a fluctuating data frequency source. The four steps are as follows. First, the bit error probability is calculated for Gaussian time base fluctuation as a function of the energy per bit to noise power density ratio. The second step is to model the synchronizer as an ordinary linear servo for small phase errors and a closed loop bandwidth, small compared to the bit rate, so that effect of the randomness of the data is averaged out. With the linear model, the time base error in tracking the input signal is calculated also utilizing this approximation as if there were no additive noise. The third step is to calculate the mean squared time base error due to the additive Gaussian noise alone. The fourth step is to combine the errors found in steps two and three as if they were independent and use the graphs found in Step 1 to determine the error rates. It is assumed that the total untracked time base fluctuation is Gaussian. The calculated error probabilities are compared with measured data. There appears to be good correspondence between the calculated and measured error probability.
  • The Effects, Measurement, and Analysis of Flutter in Instrumentation Recorders

    Moore, Laurence; Micom, Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    As instrumentation recorders are improved to provide wider bandwidths and shorter recorded wavelengths, the effects of flutter and attendant time base distortion severely limit the potential for accurate recording and retrieval of data. The effects of flutter on typical classes of data is given and the measures necessary to determine flutter with high accuracy shown. Since the degrading effects of flutter depend upon the application and the characteristics of the flutter, means of analyzing flutter both in the time domain and in the frequency domain are necessary. A self contained instrument for accurate measurement and analysis of flutter sensitive enough for the most sophisticated transports is described, as are necessary conditions for its use.
  • Telemetry with Unrestrained Animals

    Baldwin, Howard A.; Brumbaugh, Donald L.; Sensory Systems Laboratory (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    Telemetry from animals in their natural environment requires simple but efficient data coding methods. The problems common to behavioral or physiological studies with wild animals include immobilization techniques, harness design and ruggedized instrumentation development. Radio tracking experiences with the lion, elephant and buffalo and other game animals are summarized and an outline of instrumentation requirements for a study of long range goal finding ability in the green sea turtle is presented.
  • Communications Between Satellite and Ballons for the Eole Mission

    Bourdeau, J. P.; Debray, P.; Namy, X.; CNES (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
  • The Signal-to-Noise Ratio Estimation Techniques for PCM Signals

    Sos, John Y.; NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    Reliable estimation of signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio in a demodulated PCM telemetry signal can be useful in evaluating the performance of the complete telemetry link, including its signal detection and data processing portions. This paper describes three potentially practical methods developed at Goddard Space Flight Center for estimating the S/N ratio in a PCM signal. One method referred to as "spectral null" method uses spectral characteristics of PCM' signals to estimate the S/N ratio, the other two use statistical properties of the signal, i.e., its mean value and variance. These two methods are known as "variance estimations and "null zone." The implementation of each method is discussed. The spectral null method takes the least amount of equipment, but is more difficult to calibrate and operate over a wide range of bit rates, than the other two systems. All three approaches, however, are uncomplicated enough to be included into almost any existing PCM data handling system. An analysis of the performance characteristics of each system is made. It is shown that the variance estimation method is the most versatile. It can reliably estimate the S/N ratio to within 1.5 db over a range of S/N ratios from 0 db to +10 db. (The S/N ratio is defined as the ratio of signal energy per bit/noise power density.) Under certain conditions all three methods can provide estimates to within 1 db, especially over a S/N ratio range from +3 db to +10 db.
  • Performance Characteristics and Specification of PCM Bit Synchronizer/Signal Conditioners

    Peavey, B.; NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    The PCM BR Synchronizer/Signal Conditioner, hereafter called "synchronizer," plays a vital role in telemetry data recovery, and is perhaps the most important and complex component of telemetry data processing systems (DPS). The synchronizer, being the "front end" of the system, makes an irrevocable decision as to the binary value of each data bit, and provides the fundamental timing signal (clock) for the entire DPS. Thus, the performance characteristics of the synchronizer substantially determine the system's capabilities, and it may be said that the system is as good (or bad) as the synchronizer. This paper presents and discusses test data obtained on synchronizers available to date, and used at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and its satellite tracking and data acquisition network (STADAN) stations. Performance characteristics such as bit synchronization (bit sync), bit sync acquisition, tracking, bit error rate, and intersymbol interference have been measured with respect to split-phase (SP) and NRZ-L input signals between 500 bps and 300 Kbps, perturbed by "white" Gaussian noise plus jitter. The effect of tape recording and band limiting of these signals on synchronizer performance is also discussed. It is shown that bit error rate alone does not "tell the whole story" about synchronizers, particularly when operating with low (less than 7 dB) SNR's plus jitter. The test data indicate that there is no single synchronizer excelling in all respects. For example, a synchronizer which operates well down to SNR of -3 dB has inferior acquisition, and slippage characteristics when jitter is added to noise. Generally, the performance threshold for random jitter (defined later) is at SNR greater than 10 dB. Some synchronizers seem to perform better with SP than NRZ-L signals, and vice versa. Finally, discussed and suggested are definitions of performance parameters which would uniformly and unambiguously describe and specify synchronizers. A lack of precisely defined and measurable performance parameters and characteristics has caused misinterpretation and misunderstanding of specifications presented by both vendor and customer.
  • Cause and Effect of Time Base errors in Coherent Demoudlation of a Suppressed Carrier AM Multiplex

    Nichols, M. H.; Schmitt, F. J.; White Sands Missile Range; Lockheed Electronics Company (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    Two types of time base error, TBE, are discussed. One type results from variations in tape speed (flutter) and the other type is the result of additive noise. Measured data on TBE from a typical tape machine are included. Quantitative effects of TBE on coherent demodulation of DSB, SSB and quadrature DSB are discussed.
  • Compatibility Requirements and Considerations of Range Telemetry Tape

    Schulze, G. H.; Pan American World Airways, Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    Range Telemetry Tape crossplay operations may be arranged into four major classes each with unique compatibility considerations: a. Between like recorders at the same Range. b. Between unlike recorders at the same Range. c. Between unlike recorders at different Ranges. d. Between unlike recorders at Range User facilities and the Ranges. Like model recorders at the same Range are more likely compatible and capable of optimum tape crossplay than any other combination. Sometimes this very fact produces an atmosphere of complacency which can invite problems. The assumption that the recorder manufacturer has properly controlled his production for optimum crossplay or for complete conformance to IRIG1 is naive and should not be a substitute for compatibility testing at the using Range facility. With field use and equipment aging, compatibility can be gradually lost without becoming detected. Adjustment procedures at one' site may not be identical to procedures at other sites and perfectly compatible equipments can unknowingly become incompatible. The absence of adequate compatibility testing is the major cause of difficulty with this class of crossplay. Crossplay between unlike model recorders at the same Range poses unique problems but these can be controlled providing the unlike recorders have individually been strictly specified and tested to conform to IRIG Standards. Compatibility testing by the using Range is a definite requirement as manufactures may differ in their interpretation of the IRIG Document or may differ in the extent to which they conform. No manufacturer appears to be knowledgeable regarding crossplay between competitive recorders, and some appear to be just as uncertain about compatibility between complimenting recorders from their own product line. Crossplay between unlike recorders at different Ranges is being accomplished but many factors stand in the way of automatic success for this type of venture. When different equipments, different tape types, different operational procedures, and different procurement specifications all combine, the compatibility of the whole system is strained. The possibility of different tape types specified by competing equipment manufacturers should produce cautious awareness by the user and compatibility testing with both tapes should be conducted. The question "Which Range is responsible for the incompatibility?" can be difficult to answer. Currently, no central agency exercises control over Range-to-Range crossplay compatibility, and each Range conforms to IRIG Standards on an individual basis. Crossplay between unlike reproducers at Range User facilities and Range copy recorders is probably the most severe test of compatibility that exists. In this type of crossplay IRIG Standards may not have been invoked by the Range User, different bandwidth classes of systems may be involved and the fact that the User, and the Range may be virtually strangers all promote an environment unconducive to compatibility. Anything that can possibly go awry usually does. The major responsibility must lie with the Range who supplies the original or copy tapes to the Users. Ideally, the copy tapes should all be generated identically regardless of individual recipient requirements, and the IRIG Standards should be religiously followed.
  • Buoy Telemetry for Environment Prediction in Fisheries Research

    McAlister, W. Bruce; Bureau of Commercial Fisheries Biological Laboratory (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1968-10)
    A telemetering buoy has been developed for the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries to provide environmental information in support of salmon research. The buoys are designed to be free-drifting units; sensors are inductively coupled to a 200 m. single conductor cable beneath the buoy. Present sensors measure temperature, conductivity and depth. One buoy is equipped to participate in the IRLS satellite telemetry experiment. Present development includes equipment to have the buoys determine their position by use of the U.S. Navy Navigation Satellite System.

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