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Telemetry Modernization with Open Architecture Software-Defined Radio Technology

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Journal Article - Open Access

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Lincoln Laboratory Lexington United States

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Telemetry--the automated measurement and transmission of data from remote sources to receiving stations--plays a vital role in collecting critical information from flight vehicles and space assets. A telemetry system installed on a flight vehicle, for example, could transmit the vehicles air speed and Global Positioning System location to a flight termination system. Other data, such as the voltages, temperatures, and barometric or fuel pressures of onboard systems, may be of prime interest to flight-test engineers. Data are measured via onboard sensors, modulated onto a radio-frequency RF carrier, and transmitted, or telemetered, to a ground station. At the ground station, the telemetered information is received by a tracking antenna, demodulated, and reassembled into engineering data to provide real-time situational awareness of the flight vehicle and to be used in post-flight data analysis e.g., of flight vehicle performance.

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