Author Topic: Telementry data (Documents & hard copies)  (Read 358 times)

Online apollo16uvc

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Telementry data (Documents & hard copies)
« on: July 05, 2017, 02:22:38 PM »
Telemetry data was saved on tapes, which as far as anyone knows have been reused for other NASA missions. No tapes have been found, aside from some tapes containing simulations.

But at the time of the missions, hard copies were made. things like heartbeat and ALSEP seismic experiment data were plotted on paper when they were received at Houston. Could anyone here elaborate on what could be seen on screens at Houston, was saved on tapes and plotted on paper?

Telemetry data and ALSEP data was also used in documents.

Does anyone know if hard copies of telemetry data still exist, and if there are elaborate documents that contain their figures or even photos of the medium. Or if it should exist but isn't online, someone in the USA could send a request to NASA to scan documents.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: Telementry data (Documents & hard copies)
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 04:06:32 PM »
Last part first -- the U.S. National Archives got the dump of Apollo records from NASA, and last I checked it hadn't yet been indexed.  It's also unclear to what extent the "hardcopy" data is in microform.  But it's to the National Archives you would have to address inquiries for the data.

I've run across photographic reproductions of some of the telemetry strips in technical reports, but only as illustrations of the topics discussed.  I don't know of any facsimile reproductions of vast swaths of telemetry hardcopy.  I get the impression that most telemetry was considered ephemeral.  Interesting parts were saved, but it wasn't routinely catalogued or kept once the mission or program was over.  I also get the impression that strip charts weren't routinely made of all telemetry channels, just those that were of interest from time to time.  Telemetry's primary purpose is to diagnose equipment performance, and once the equipment becomes moot so does the telemetry.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Online apollo16uvc

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Re: Telementry data (Documents & hard copies)
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 04:59:23 PM »
Last part first -- the U.S. National Archives got the dump of Apollo records from NASA, and last I checked it hadn't yet been indexed.  It's also unclear to what extent the "hardcopy" data is in microform.  But it's to the National Archives you would have to address inquiries for the data.

I've run across photographic reproductions of some of the telemetry strips in technical reports, but only as illustrations of the topics discussed.  I don't know of any facsimile reproductions of vast swaths of telemetry hardcopy.  I get the impression that most telemetry was considered ephemeral.  Interesting parts were saved, but it wasn't routinely catalogued or kept once the mission or program was over.  I also get the impression that strip charts weren't routinely made of all telemetry channels, just those that were of interest from time to time.  Telemetry's primary purpose is to diagnose equipment performance, and once the equipment becomes moot so does the telemetry.
I am not sure the U.S. National Archives listens to an inquiry made by a non-U.S. resident. But I will try it anyway, thanks. Is there any data prefix I should mention in my request, so they know what I am talking about and looking for? was Apollo data stored under any specific archive name or number?

Yes, I too have come across telemetry data in documents, but like you say only about the specific topic of the document, and at the specific time of the event.

Do you know if the receiving stations were able to see the telemetry data as it came in from the spacecrafts? I know they could heard the audio and see the live video from the stream. But I don't think they had the equipment to see telemetry data.

If you could link any documents and files with telemetry date here, that would be great. I guess this thread could be used for that.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: Telementry data (Documents & hard copies)
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 07:11:38 PM »
I am not sure the U.S. National Archives listens to an inquiry made by a non-U.S. resident.

I'm sure someone there will at least talk to you and tell you what's involved in making requests.  It never hurts to ask.

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Is there any data prefix I should mention in my request, so they know what I am talking about and looking for? was Apollo data stored under any specific archive name or number?

Here's the rub:  the significance of Apollo data being largely unindexed is that it has no cataloging information associated with it.  Imagine your [appropriate relative]'s attic.  Yes, the National Archives is decades behind and predictably understaffed.  Access to unindexed materials is severely curtailed.  With any luck you'll be able to talk to an archivist who can, at best, confirm that the kind of information you're looking for is in the collection, because he recalls leafing through it casually.

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Do you know if the receiving stations were able to see the telemetry data as it came in from the spacecrafts? I know they could heard the audio and see the live video from the stream. But I don't think they had the equipment to see telemetry data.

The MSFN stations recorded the telemetry, just as did Mission Control in Houston.  But of course recording is not the same as demultiplexing and viewing, which would have necessitated more equipment than just the standard telemetry recorders.  The difference between the recording done by each ground station and that done in Houston was that the station tapes were just contingency backups.  If the MSFN terrestrial links broke down for any reason, the ground stations would be able to replay the missing telemetry once the links were restored.  In other words, once Houston had confirmed that it had a block of telemetry "in the can," the ground stations were free to recycle their tapes.

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If you could link any documents and files with telemetry date here, that would be great. I guess this thread could be used for that.

Sure, I don't know any specific documents off the top of my head.  I just remember seeing the facsimiles after you asked about it.  The first place I'll look is the post-flight evaluations of Apollo 13.  I recall the discussion of tank pressure, temperature, etc. were illustrated with telemetry strip charts, but that's a distant memory.
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Offline ka9q

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Re: Telementry data (Documents & hard copies)
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2017, 07:32:08 PM »
The only telemetry I've seen is that reproduced in the mission reports, especially the earlier ones, but these are generally the most interesting bits anyway. And of course there's a lot of it in the Apollo 13 review board report.

The mission report authors seem to have taken some glee in printing heart rate plots of the LM crews during landing and EVA. Elevated rates during EVA can be easily explained by physical exertion, but not those during landing.

Offline mako88sb

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Re: Telementry data (Documents & hard copies)
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 02:51:39 PM »
I recall Jay mentioning a while ago about how the ban on whale oil as a binding agent for recording tapes had a serious impact on anybody who required those tapes. I came across this from an antique radio forum that is quite interesting. 3rd post from the bottom:

http://www.antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=98539