Whether you realize it or not, you see telemetry data almost every day. As you may know, telemetry is the process of measuring things from a distance. The measurements can be the vitals of an astronaut, the weather conditions at the top of Mount Everest, or the temperature of a steam release at the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean. When you open a text book, watch the news, or read a magazine, there is a good chance you are exposed to telemetry data, which is the data that is obtained through the process of telemetry.
For instance, minutes after an earthquake strikes, anywhere in the world, you will hear measurement information on television. The earthquake’s Richter scale reading, the number of aftershocks, and the location of the plates that caused the quake. The information never comes from the actual site of the quake, but instead from a seismology center in California or Colorado. The information you get is telemetry data, since it is measured data that is coming from a remote location.
Another example you may have not thought about before is when you see the measurement of wind speeds in a hurricane located out in the ocean. When you hear the category rating of a hurricane, you are hearing something based on the conditions inside it. How do you think they get that information? That is correct. They get it through telemetry data. Instruments are either in the hurricane or used to measure it remotely from outside and then sent back to a separate location.
Telemetry data is indeed all around us. The ability to measure and gather data from a distance has allowed us to keep the vitals of astronauts in space from Houston, learn the shape of the terrain in the ocean from a boat, and understand the oxygen supply needed atop high mountains. So the next time you open up your newspaper, hear about a hurricane on the news, or read about the temperature of Mars in a text book you will know that you can thank telemetry data for the information.
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