Ground Station System Design and Implementation for Monitoring Rocket Telemetry

In the summer of 2018, I’ll be attending the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition in the 10’000ft. COTS propulsion category with the EPFL Rocket Team.

As we expect the rocket to reach altitude of 1km above ground in ~4.6 seconds, we needed a way of monitoring the performance of our rocket while in-flight. We distinguish three kinds of telemetry:

In-flight critical: this is the data we absolutely need to monitor to asses the performance of the vehicle.

Post-flight: we gather as much data from the sensors as possible which can then be used to compare and adjusts the output of our flight simulator.

Nice to have: the rest of the data that is not strictly required for the flight but can produce more accurate visualisation.

The two screenshots below show respectively the default view for critical telemetry as well as the advanced view for spatial visualisation of the rocket’s trajectory. Unfortunately, exact specifications regarding the design of the communication system and the code itself are not disclosed publicly for now.

Default view of critical telemetry
Default view of critical telemetry
Advanced spatial visualisation of trajectory and splashdown trajectory
Advanced spatial visualisation of trajectory and splashdown prediction