formation, is called data reduction.If the measurements are transmitted to earth asthey are collected, this is called “real time” report-ing, but frequently
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
read out, at an extremelyrapid rate, while the craft is within line of sight ofthe earth station.
the radioed information isreceived by a station
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
stations.But, if the instrument used to measure these quan-tities does not do
electrically, then their infor-mation must be converted
electrical signals bymeans
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.
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.
the wave illustrated in Figure
several features are easily measured-height(known as amplitude), length of cycle, and fre-quency (the number of cycles within a given period