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Integrated Data Acquisition Solutions for Aerospace Platforms with Highly Restrictive Space and Weight Requirements and Harsh Environmental Conditions

November 07, 2018

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Missile Data Acquisition Systems (DAS) are generally made up of 5 key component groups:

  1. Data Acquisition Unit (DAU)
  2. PCM transmitter
  3. Multi-band antenna
  4. Flight Termination Receiver (FTR)
  5. Battery pack

Integrated Data Acquisition Solutions for Aerospace Platforms with Highly Restrictive Space and Weight Requirements and Harsh Environmental Conditions

The DAU is usually required to gather data from multiple input sources and encode them into a PCM frame for transmission to the ground during test. The type of data generally gathered includes:

  • Vibration
  • Acceleration
  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Strain
  • Voltage
  • GPS parameters
  • Seeker information
  • Video

A PCM transmitter is generally chosen to meet the specific needs of the flight test program. A dual band wrap around antennae mated with PCM transmitters and FTRs meeting the required RF and operating frequency power for the flight test environment are commonly chosen for missile test programs. UAV programs will have different requirements for a multiband antenna, but RF power and operating frequency are still key considerations. FTR systems are generally kept separate for safety of flight considerations although FTR systems usually monitor some key parameters from the DAU and the battery system onboard.

Given the restricted space and weight requirements of missile and UAV platforms, typical aircraft power of 28V is not available. Battery packs are generally used for power, but these can need to be large depending on the platform requirements and duration of flight required for the test programs. Different components of the system will also require different voltages and current capabilities, making the battery pack complicated.

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