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Dr. Michael Rice and His Son, Aidan, Receive Awards at International Telemetry Conference 2023


ECE Professor Michael Rice and his son, Aidan Rice, recently received awards for their research papers at the International Telemetry Conference.

Telemetry is a technique that involves the automated collection and wireless transmission of data from remote locations and is commonly used in aerospace and medical settings.

The father-son duo has a shared passion for engineering, albeit with different emphases, as Aidan Rice is a mechanical engineering student.

Dr. Rice’s paper was the result of a meeting with Ashley Weis from Summation Research Inc. (SRI), with whom he served on a conference committee. Weis set up a meeting for Dr. Rice to meet with other people from SRI, and they worked together to find a solution to a question posed by the company. The demo was then turned into a co-authored paper titled "On the Use of Bit Error Testers to Test the Data Quality Metric." The paper describes how the two types of data, bit error probability (BEP) and receiver's bit error rate (BER), can be compared with BER confidence intervals to determine the accuracy of the data. The data quality metric (DQM) is sent to a central location from different receivers to select the best data source and make the telemeter more reliable. The more accurate the data, the more reliable the telemeter is.

At the same conference, Aidan Rice won the Cliff Aggen Best Undergraduate Student Paper award with his father as the faculty advisor on the paper. The paper, titled “Analysis of a Telemetry System for a Level 3 Rocket,” details the telemetry system created by Aidan as part of the BYU High Power Rocketry Team for the rocket Solitude that won the Spaceport America Cup this past year. The telemetry system Aidan designed has a transmission range of 10,000 feet and is able to fit within a 6-inch diameter space inside the nose cone of the rocket. It was able to successfully transmit rocket flight data over the full range, which was an important milestone for the BYU High Power Rocketry Team as it was the first time a live telemetry package had been successful for the team.

While you might think Aidan chose to work on the rocket's telemetry system knowing he had easy access to one of the world's top experts in aeronautical telemetry, the truth is a bit more comical. Shortly after accepting the assignment to engineer the telemetry system on the rocket, Aidan had a conversation with his father that went something like this:

Aidan: Dad, do you know anything about something called telemetry?
Dr. Rice: Is this a joke?
Aidan: This is my assignment on the rocket team. Why would it be a joke?
Dr. Rice: Yeah, I know a little about it. What do you want to know?

Later, when Aidan visited Dr. Rice in his office, he noticed the wall full of awards Dr. Rice has received for his contributions to aeronautical telemetry. Aidan concluded, “I think you know more than a little."

We think so too.

Congratulations to the Rices for their awards at the International Telemetry Conference!