Wireless, Time-synchronized, Event Control System
ABSTRACT: There is a critical need for the ability to precisely measure and control events on high speed test tracks, such as the Holloman High Speed Test Track (HHSTT). Typical event measurement and control systems consist of a set of sensors along the track that are connected by individual cables to a centralized data acquisition system where the signals are digitized for processing and analysis. This architecture has many disadvantages. It is cumbersome and obtrusive because of the amount of cabling required to connect the sensors to the data acquisition unit. Additionally, because of the long measurement lines these systems are very susceptible to loss, delay, and EMI which can corrupt the signal leading to poor signal quality. Most importantly, timing latency becomes significant when the signal must travel several miles down the track. An event control system that is simple, unobtrusive, and highly reliable would be invaluable to the Air Force"s high speed test sites. To provide this capability, McQ is developing the WTECS. WTECS will consist of a scalable network of distributed miniature event controllers that are wirelessly networked with a base station. BENEFIT: The WTECS is intended to be used at test facilities such as the HHSTT. The system will be installed along the test track and used to both monitor and control events throughout a test sequence, including: controlling the sled launch; monitoring when the sled actually starts moving; measuring the speed of the sled; controlling when the ejection seat launch occurs; and controlling when the cameras turn on and begin recording. To accomplish this, the WTECS McQ designs will consist of event controllers, Wi-Fi repeaters, and one or more base stations.
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