White Sands Missile Range employees Joshua Dannhaus, a systems engineer with the Systems Engineering Directorate, and Jesus Nevarez, an electrical engineer with Range Operations Telemetry, received the Myron Hiram Nichols Award for Telemetry Spectrum at the three-day International Telemetering Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada Oct. 26 to 29 for a technical paper they wrote for their telemetry findings during a test that was conducted at WSMR.
“It was unexpected,” Dannhaus said. “I didn’t even know they gave awards for that. It was a nice surprise.”
The paper focused on a 2014 C-Band Transmittal Experimental Test where C-band and S-band radiated telemetry data streams were compared aboard a spin-stabilized, high dynamic rocket. According to Armando Juarez, chief of the Telemetry Branch at Range Operations, the test was conducted to specifically evaluate the effects and impacts of tracking and collecting telemetry data off a missile in the C-band frequency. Several test ranges were invited to join in on the test and were allowed to bring their telemetry instrumentation to WSMR, which also provided valuable test data the WSMR telemetry engineers were able to compare and analyze.
“The team did an outstanding job,” Juarez said.
Due to the spectrum quickly becoming a hot commodity with cell phone providers, all DoD test ranges nation-wide were tasked to move missile transmissions from L-band and S-band to C-band, according to Juarez.
Dannhaus said the test, the focus of the paper, was one of the first occasions where a conglomerate of players were involved in a single test using C-band and was an acceptance test for many of the telemetry systems. He said the paper and presentation focused mainly on the Missile Defense Agency and WSMR Telemetry Tracking assets.
“We just wanted to show the other agencies and test agents what our findings were,” Dannhaus said.
The reason the paper received so much attention is because the C-band is a lot more difficult to track because of the narrower beam width. Most of the systems supporting the test had to be modified because they were designed for L and S band. Dannhaus and Nevarez were presented one of five awards that were given during the conference.
“The topic of the paper is timely because…the requirement to support more complicated missile intercept tests is important to the DoD test community,” said Gregory Vickers, WSMR Systems Engineering director.
Nevarez was unavailable to accept the award because he is currently on a temporary-duty-assignment supporting a test mission. The two were also recognized during the WSMR Commander’s Town Hall Oct. 29.
Dannhaus and Nevarez wish to thank the following people who helped contribute to the test and paper: Jorge Zambrano, Benito Ramos, Randy Rivas, Mike Winstead, Armando Juarez, Florencio Marquez, Gabe Beltran, Zoe Espinoza, Mark Radosevich, J Roberts, Arturo Dominguez, and Jaime Mendoza.