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Telemetry Group Schedules Rare Off-Site Meeting at BYU

Published Date: 09/04/2019

From August 6-8, 2019, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department hosted the Range Commander Council Telemetry Group (RCC TG) for its 137th meeting to discuss telemetry standard review and implementation. Around 100 members of the group attended.

The Range Commander Council is an assembly of experts in the aeronautical telemetry field. Their role is to set and maintain technical standards, called IRIG 106, that govern several aspects of aeronautical telemetry. Within the Council, there are subgroups that focus on specific areas in the field. The group that met at BYU last month is the Telemetry Group.

The Telemetry Group meets twice per year, almost exclusively at a test range, but due to Doctor Michael Rice’s participation, the group decided to meet at BYU. Dr. Rice is an associate member of the group.

Dr. Rice has been involved with the program for many years. He was invited to attend one of the RCC TG meetings because of his interest in aeronautical telemetry, an interest derived from the International Foundation of Telemetering (IFT). IFT, a non-profit organization, has donated money to the BYU ECE Department to fund a range of educational activities surrounding aeronautical telemetry. After attending meetings for a few years, Dr. Rice was asked to become an associate member of the group. Some of his research results have found their way into the IRIG 106 standards.

Throughout the years, Dr. Rice has represented academia for the group. He helps to craft standards involving sophisticated transmission techniques that range users sometimes find difficult to explain. Of his responsibility, Dr. Rice said, “My role in the group is to help write and maintain the standards on some of the more academic aspects of the things they do. The waveforms and the techniques that we use are getting more and more sophisticated and they need some academic people to help get the wording right and to standard, so that’s my role.”

During their discussion on those standards, the group covered modulation methods for aeronautical telemetry, recording methods for telemetry data, XML standards for describing telemetry data, and more.

Overall, the meeting was successful. The group was able to review the current standards and make changes as necessary. Moreover, the attendees expressed their admiration of the campus and location.

Dr. Rice explained, “People raved about the building, the location, and the town. They really liked the facility, even with the parking and construction situation.”