Digital data handling system for scientific sounding rocket applications



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Since the spacecraft involved in an experiment conducted in space are relatively expensive, it is necessary to expend considerable engineering effort in analyzing the problem of maximizing the amount of scientific information that can be extracted from the experiment. The information return or scientific worth of the experiment is directly controlled by the data handling subsystem, in that such parameters as data sampling rates, resolution of analog signals and overall data quality are directly dependent, on the performance of this subsystem. A general description of the instrumentation utilized in a sounding rocket probe for the detection of charged particles is presented in Chapter I. Design considerations from an overall systems view are presented in Chapter II. Choice of logic elements, analog/digital conversion, and general RF link analysis are also presented. The detailed configuration and design of the digital data handling system is presented in Chapter III. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the breadboard evaluation and the steps necessary to obtain a fully qualified unit for flight applications.