Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
NASA Facts Telemetry

NASA Facts Telemetry

Ratings: (0)|Views: 37 |Likes:
Published by Bob Andrepont

More info:

Published by: Bob Andrepont on Jun 03, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

06/03/2011

pdf

text

original

 
SCIENCE SERIES
iR.
HIGH SCHOOL;
GENERAL
SCIENCE
AN EDUCATIONAL PUBLICATION
OF
THE
H62-405
3
%
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
S-3/
0-67
I
/
TELEMETRY
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
II
I
I
I
COMMANDCONTROL
I
Telemetry is the process of measuring at one pointand transmitting data to a distant point for evalua-tion and use.Information on the astronaut’s pulse, blood pres-sure and other physical and operational data aboutthe spacecraft are transmitted from a mannedspacecraft to the ground by telemetry. Unmannedspacecraft transmit data concerning radiation, orother phenomena, and also information about thestatus of their operating parts, by telemetry.The measurements are taken by sensors; the in-formation is then converted into electrical signals.These signals are transmitted by radio to the re-mote earth point receiving the information (See
Fig.
1).
At
the point of reception, the electricalsignals are reconverted into the original data.For example, during an orbital flight doctorsneed to know the astronaut’s physical condition at
all
times.Of particular interest is his heartbeat.Senscrs taped to the astronaut’s chest report thetempo or rhythm of his heart, through delicatewires to the special equipment in the spacecraftwhere
it
is recorded. Next this information ischanged into electrical signals. Then the electricalsignals are automatically transmitted to NASA earthstations. As the signals are received they are sentthrough decoding devices, which produce the rec-ord of the heartbeat for the listening doctor. Thisentire process is called telemetry.Transm tta of the astronaut heartbeat, however,is just one of many different types
of
informationtelemetered during an orbital flight. Everythingabout a particular space flight that is to be studiedby groundbound scientists must be telemetered.Various instruments are installed aboard a space-craft to acquire a wide range of information. Thedata radioed to earth and first received by theNASA telemetry receiving stations are called “rawdata.“ This is because all the information is inelectrical signals, or coded form. The techniqueof decoding, or changing
it
back into useful in-
 
formation, is called data reduction.If the measurements are transmitted to earth asthey are collected, this is called “real time” report-ing, but frequently
it
is more convenient to delaytransmission. Radio contact from earth to a satel-lite requires that the satellite be within line ofsight. To solve this problem, the data on the space-craft are recorded on magnetic tape as they areobserved by the instruments. When the groundstation commands, these data are transmitted, oras the scientists terms
it,
read out, at an extremelyrapid rate, while the craft is within line of sight ofthe earth station.
As
the radioed information isreceived by a station
it
is recorded again. Thismeans a permanent record of the flight data maybe kept to permit scientists unlimited time to de-code and study the information.Instruments in the spacecraft are also designedto measure such quantities as temperature, pres-sure, kind of radiation, etc. These measurementsmust also be telemetered to the
NASA
stations.But, if the instrument used to measure these quan-tities does not do
so
electrically, then their infor-mation must be converted
to
electrical signals bymeans
of
a “transducer.”
All
the electrical signals are gathered through a“coding box.” Here they are superimposed on anumber of tones which modulate, or vary, the fre-quency of the main carrier wave (wave generated atthe point of transmission). We can think of these“waves” just as we do ocean waves; they travel inthe same manner (See Fig.
2).
Just as various seadisturbances may cause an ocean wave to rise andfall, so these disturbances or signals create a wavewhich “varies” according to the nature of the mes-sage to be sent. We can picture then a wavemoving with no disturbances, maintaining its steadypace and motion.
In
the wave illustrated in Figure
3,
several features are easily measured-height(known as amplitude), length of cycle, and fre-quency (the number of cycles within a given period
 
of time).
So
it
is easily seen how any electricaldisturbance might change any one or all of thesethree characteristic measurements. In Figure
4,
the amplitude obviously varies, though the cycleand frequency may remain constant. This is the“AM,” or amplitude modulation, method used inradio broadcasting. “FM” or frequency modulationis produced by changes or variations in the fre-quency.
It
is by these modulations-the disturb-ances or variations in what would be a simple wave-that are read and interpreted by the speciallydesigned earth equipment. These devices can inter-pret these changes in terms of the transmitted sig-nal which caused them, and restore the data intousable form.Again in the case of an ocean wave, the risingand falling action of
a
wave tends to become lessand less with distance. For example, a tidal wavecaused by an underwater volcano will lessen instrength as
it
passes through miles of ocean.Similarly, a signal
wave
sent from a spacecraftgrows weaker with distance. For this reason, thestrength of the signal received on earth is some-times very weak. Frequency modulation is lessaffected by distance and noise interference. Spe-cially designed earth equipment can interpret theweak signal and restore the data into usable form.Therefore, the principle of frequency modulationgenerally is more effective for NASA space mis-sions than is amplitude modulation (see Fig.
5).

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->