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What is Telemetry? Definition, Purpose, Applications

Telemetry is the collection of measurements of process variables or other data for a monitoring center that the company configures to follow and know the progress of the operations.

A Telemetry system through sensors and transmitters makes it possible to measure and monitor physical quantities remotely to send information and data to the operator of the system. Telemetry is also called remote measurement and is used in many industries.

At a distance (tele) the measurement (metron) of signals that are generally transmitted using wire and wireless technology is performed. Telemetry systems measure process parameters like temperature, pressure, flow, voltage, vibration, speed, and time, among other magnitudes.

Definition of Telemetry

In telemetry, data is collected at remote or inaccessible locations and automatically transmitted to a remote for monitoring. The term is derived from the Greek words, “tele” which means remote, and “metron” which means measure.

Purpose of Telemetry

Telemetry is used for devices that are in unusual places such as widespread deserts, deep oceans, high mountains, deep spaces, inside hostile environments, etc. There are many places where people would not be safe if they had to go there and get the process information regularly.

The use of telemetry fills the need for estimating and gathering information at remote or blocked-off locations, with the transmission of such information enabling analysis.

Main Objectives of Telemetry

Because telemetry systems provide information in real-time, the following are some of their objectives

  • Know the status of processes, systems, and equipment.
  • Schedule activities remotely and from a control center.
  • Alert preventive maintenance needs, incidents, or failures.
  • Alert access violations, security, or theft.
  • Collect measurements to predict natural events.

Telemetry Performance

Telemetry works by using sensors, transducers, and transmitters that transform the measured physical or process variable parameters into electrical signals.

These electrical signals are transformed by another device into coded signals. Subsequent transmission is done through different means. Including wireless communications, cable, internet, or GPS telemetry.

The data reaches a receiver that collects, records, and processes it to be displayed in common measurements, for example, speed (km/h), tank liquid level pressure, temperature, etc.

Telemetry System

A telemetry system has four components

  1. Sensors, transducers, transmitters
  2. Terminal unit
  3. Transmission medium
  4. Receiver

What is Telemetry System?

Telemetry system refers to information transmission systems. Its development and evolution over the years have facilitated work in many areas of work.

For example, aeronautics, agriculture, biology, power distribution, the status of storage in water reservoirs (dams), and even modern medicine make use of it.

Undoubtedly, its versatility has made it a very useful tool for everyone.

What does Telemetry do?

A telemetry system collects data at a remote location using an automated communication system. It is responsible for collecting information, processing, (also analyzing), and transmitting it to the place where the system is monitored.

Telemetry equipment is made up of several sensors that measure certain physical or chemical magnitudes. They then transform this information into analog/digital or wireless signals for delivery and processing.

Although originally the design of these systems was solely wired, today they are mostly wireless.

How does Telemetry work?

What is Telemetry System

Telemetry works as a system that captures information processes it and sends it to the receivers. But from the moment the data is captured by the sensors, the information goes through different stages before reaching us.

Telemetry systems use sensors, antennas (optic fiber transmission), and other elements that process data and, if required, generate an action. 

Generally, the design of any telemetry system consists of the following elements.

Data generation system: It refers to the sensors, transducers, and transmitters that capture the data, convert it into electrical signals and amplify them.

Multiplexing system: This component combines and compresses the data before sending it.

The modulator and transmitting media: In this stage, the data is modulated and sent by the transmitting antenna or by an optic fiber media.

Transmission channel: It refers to the medium by which information travels or is transmitted. Generally, this channel is fiber optic or the air.

(Receiving antenna or optic fiber) receiver and demodulator: These components receive the signal sent by the antenna or optic fiber cable.

De-multiplexing system: It is responsible for de-multiplexing the signal that is, decompressing the data previously compressed in the second step.

Data processing system: In this last component, the data is processed to show the information desired by the operator.

Benefits of Telemetry Systems

Some of the benefits of telemetry systems are mentioned below.

  • The main advantage of telemetry systems is that data can be collected from remote locations.
  • With the use of telemetry, one can avoid having to go to the site to collect the information.
  • They are useful because they offer constant information in real-time.
  • Makes it easy to take operations decisions.
  • Policy decisions by top management for modifications, expansions, and performance improvement.
  • Helps to serve better those who depend on its services.

Currently, the applications in which one can take advantage of the use of telemetry are very wide. Any system that uses telemetry can be remotely operated. This function facilitates the operation of equipment and allows errors to be corrected and information to be sent functions that are highly appreciated in many ways.

Telemetry captures information by sensors that transmit it. Being useful to make policy decisions by respective managements.

Following are examples of some telemetry applications.

Applications of Telemetry

Oil & Gas Exploration and Production

The above figure is a telemetry system belonging to a world-famous oil and gas exploration and production organization. Long-term crude reservoirs and their surrounding areas can be managed with telemetry systems. It illustrates how the data is collected from various sources. Production can be managed long-term, and new deposits can be discovered. 

It is challenging to integrate large amounts of data from multiple locations at different time intervals into a single, high-resolution model. A highly complex algorithm uses data gathered from geological, 3D, seismic, geochemical, fluid, drilling, and production sources as inputs. By doing this, one can build the most accurate picture of what lies beneath the earth’s surface. This is how the telemetry system helps.

Measurements outside our planet and inside it

Telemetry has applications in space research currently being carried out on space stations, the Moon, Mars, and space-flying vehicles. It is also useful for the remote control of spacecraft and artificial satellites.

Remote measurement is also required in environments where human presence is not possible or safe. This is the case of the measurement, monitoring, and control of magnitudes in installations of oil platforms or mines at great depths.

Medicine and Telehealth

The development of telemetry systems for post-operative follow-up includes in vitro experiments where magneto elastic microwave is used to measure signals that are transmitted wirelessly. The applications of these investigations include the follow-up of postoperative patients with vascular surgeries.

The medical telemetry application helps collect information from internal organs through devices that are surgically placed. Sensors installed in equipment can warn about its malfunction or other operating conditions.

In the same way, seismic, meteorological, and other types of sensors use telemetry to send alarm signals.


Telemetry is useful for tracking animals, also for estimating their population, and helping to conserve biodiversity.

The automotive

Telemetry is used for different applications in the automotive sector. For example, the fleet owner can understand mileage, fuel consumption, route calculation, tracking, etc. In this business, data-driven management relies on measuring the work and interactions of the workforce to improve organizational performance to reach its goals.

Power distribution and transmission

Telemetry helps to know the status of feeders, demand, and shutdown planning for maintenance activities.

Storage levels in dams

Information related to water storage in dams, inflow, outflow, and hydroelectric generation. Helps to avoid floods and release of water to agriculture.  

The oil industry

Lean gas, Rich gas, Condensate, and crude pipeline network with distribution is spread across the desert. Telemetry system makes it easy to know operational variables such as tank levels, flow line pressure, and flow line temperatures, among others.

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