White Sands Missile Range is heavily instrumented with many types of sensors and data gathering equipment. The Telemetry System is one such type of sensor that collects information pertaining to a test vehicle's direction, health and status. The manufacturer normally instruments the test vehicle at the factory with numerous sensors and guidance systems. Data from these systems is then transmitted, where telemetry tracking stations receive the information and relay it to the primary data processing station at the Telemetry Data Center (TDC).
The TDC provides WSMR with one of the premier telemetry processing and display facilities within the Department of Defense. The data is processed and displayed for use by both external range customers, such as a missile manufacturer, and internal customers according to predetermined parameters. One such internal customer is Flight Safety which uses telemetry data, such as vehicle trajectory or status, to determine if the test should continue or be terminated. Such constraints require that the telemetry system perform its duties flawlessly. The TDC staff includes recognized experts in mathematical analysis, real-time data processing, software development, systems engineering and real-time flight safety decision strategies. The purpose or mission of this organization is to collect, process, archive and display telemetry data in ether preflight, real-time or postflight mode.
The TDC is in the process of upgrading its current complement of processing and display systems. These upgrades will enhance mission support and data products for our customers. Such benefits include: improved processing, display, and data storage and access capability.
The TDC has begun the implementation of a software-based telemetry processing system (versus the traditional hardware based systems) that extracts real-time telemetry data and presents it in real-time via PC-based graphical displays and/or strip chart recorders. Considering that telemetry data can provide information concerning a vehicle's position, status and health, the TDC uses telemetry data to depict real-time visual information of a vehicle's orientation and/or position using Modeling and Simulation tools. This visualization provides our customers with an intuitive grasp of the vehicles' spatial situation.
With the new processing systems, TDC is capable of digitizing telemetry data in real-time and has the ability to offer its customers processed digital telemetry data products in a greater variety of large capacity archival media. The data products of the TDC consists of the following: Serial or Multiplexed Metrum Helical Scan Tapes, Sony 8mm tapes, Compact Disks, Digital Versatile/Video Disks and USB Hard Drives. In addition, the TDC provides customers with SVHS and VHS tapes, embedded telemetry seeker video displays, 2D/3D computer generated graphical representations of telemetry data and strip chart recordings.