Low-cost RF 802.11 g telemetry for flight guidance system development

Philip A Catherwood, Paul Hughes, James McLaughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Downloads (Pure)


This work investigates the potential for off-the-shelf hardware to be used as a very low-cost replacement to the expensive missile test telemetry currently used by military equipment suppliers to develop flight guidance systems. Missile tests are essential to create highly accurate simulation models of the missile flight controls to ensure accuracy of live missile fire and fully controlled stability throughout the flight to ensure the missile only strikes intended targets. Since test missiles are expensive one-shot devices the telemetry gathered must be transmitted robustly over the full flight. Development of bespoke telemetry units is expensive; thus the potential for using off-the-shelf components and sub-assemblies to provide telemetry based on the Wi-Fi communications standard is investigated. Over the course of missile development, this would create remarkable financial savings. This work details the design, development, and testing of a Wi-Fi missile telemetry system with the solution being evaluated against required performance requirements. Received signal strength and packet error rate, indicators of communication link quality, were investigated for increasing distance and for multi-frequency vibration. These tests replicate in-flight parameters for the transmitter's operation. Conclusions are presented along with recommendations for future development work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8496-8503
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Engineering
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 4 Sep 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Low-cost RF 802.11 g telemetry for flight guidance system development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this