Transitioning to C-Band for Flight-Test Telemetry

August 03, 2020

Transitioning to C-Band for Flight-Test Telemetry

Published in Microwaves & RF

The U.S. Government auctioning off telemetry frequency bands has drastically affected the day-to-day operation of the flight-test community—the increased frequency crowding is reducing operational availability. The government responded with new standards for bandwidth-efficient modulation schemes to “pack” more data bandwidth in the remaining telemetry workspace, allowing the private sector to develop hardware in the new C-band allocations for telemetry.

Telemetry vendors responded first with the spectrum-efficient hardware for both air and ground applications, while the requirements for C-band applications evolved from initial experiments to actual orders.

The ground segment in the U.S. has upgraded to be C-band-capable across the country. Of interest, the commercial occupation of their new ownership of the L- and S-bands (D- and E-bands) is regional, with local test ranges still using the L- and S-bands due to the current availability. In areas of the country where frequency crowding occurs, C-band is widely used with equal activity in L-band as well. The wide variation in frequency-band availability has now put the focus on tri-band transmitters for flight-test operations.

Developing a Tri-Band Transmitter

Curtiss-Wright developed a tri-band transmitter to provide a multi-band solution in a single unit. Thus, engineers can avoid having to replace units to change bands between test flights or when flying from range to range. The transmitter provides lower and upper L-(D)-band, full S-(E)-band, and C-band in a form factor designed to replace many existing field units.

Read the full article.

Paul Cook

Paul Cook

Director of Missile Systems, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

Paul Cook is the Director of Missile Systems at Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.  He has 37 years of extensive design and product line experience in Telemetry Systems.  He has held engineering and management positions in design and development, embedded encryption, RF subsystems and data links, engineering and business management, and program management. He has 34 years of experience in the telemetry industry and three years in information assurance Type I CCEP certifications. Paul joined Teletronics in 2007 and, in addition, worked in the telemetry Industry for General Dynamics Corporation, Aydin Corporation, and L-3 Communications Corporation. Paul obtained a BS degree from The College of New Jersey and has various postgraduate courses towards an MBA and program management certifications.

RF & Flight Safety Solutions

Field-proven in programs worldwide, our radio frequency (RF) and wireless systems provide reliable and accurate transmission of telemetry, digital, wideband, and video data for applications such as flight-, space-, and remote ground-based applications. We also supply flight safety products and products to augment and enhance the tracking capabilities of C-band ground radars.


Transition to C-Band Video

The transition to C-Band for flight, launch, and missile test applications in the USA is underway with different test ranges and organizations implementing new technologies at different rates. This video looks at the transition by US organizations to C-Band frequency.