5.2 - An IEEE 802.11 Based Telemetry System for Ultra Ligth Machines Flight Testing

etc2016 - 36. European Telemetry and Test Conference
2016-05-10 - 2016-05-12
Nürnberg, Germany
5. Data Links
A. Rolando, L. Minichini, F. Rossi - Politecnico di Milano, Milano (Italy)
156 - 165


Initially conceived as the main research topic of a PhD, the Mnemosine Flight Test Instrumentation system designed and developed at Department of Aerospace Science and Technology of the Politecnico di Milano has been intensely used for more than one decade, in support of didactic activities, like the annual Student Flight Test Campaign within the MSc. Flight Testing course, as well as of research and third-party initiatives. The present paper presents the latest addition to Mnemosine: a telemetry link for real-time downloading and visualization of acquired data. With the objective to satisfy the very stringent budget constraints on one hand, and to maximise performance in terms of range and bandwidth on the other, the link has been developed starting from low cost, consumer-grade IEEE 802.11 components, that have been deeply tested and carefully tuned to adapt their performance to the particular application requirements. The proposed telemetry system is composed of an Airborne Station installed on the aircraft, a Ground Steerable Antenna Station, capable of aiming the high-gain directional antennae at the aircraft, a Meteo Station for acquiring air-related parameters at the airfield and a PC-based Ground Station running both the steerable antenna control software and the data processing and visualization software. Full details are given on the successful system test during the 11 Test Flights of the recent May 2015 Student Flight Test Campaign.