An Introduction to IRIG Instrumentation Standards


Founded in 1952 by the US military, the Inter-Range Instrumentation Group (IRIG) was tasked to establish standards for the exchange of information between instrumentation on test ranges.

It sought to create common ground between different instrument manufacturers so that not only could the output from one device be used as an input for another on a test range, but if taken to another test range, it would work with the minimum of configuration.

Today a steering committee and working groups revise and publish these standards through the Range Commanders Council (RCC) based at the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico, USA. The standards have been adopted internationally for both civil and military aviation as well as missile testing.

IRIG standard are typically identified by a number, followed by the year of revision, and chapter number where applicable. Naturally it can take time for instrumentation manufacturers to implement the changes or features of the latest standards. So it is often worth declaring which version of the standard you need compliance with.

Time Codes:

IRIG 104-60 was the original standard for Time Codes issued in 1960. However IRIG 200-16 is the latest version of the Serial Time Code standards.

Photo-Sonics International offer a wide range of IRIG Time Code generators for use on test ranges and other applications.

Digital Flight Test Recording:

IRIG 106-20 is the July 2020 edition of the standard for digital flight data recording where…

  • Chapter 1 is an introduction.

  • Chapter 2 covers Transmitter and Receiver Systems.

  • Chapter 3 covers the Frequency Division Multiplexing Telemetry standards.

  • Chapter 4 covers the Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) standards.

  • Chapter 5 covers the Digitized Audio Telemetry Standard.

  • Chapter 6 covers Recorder & Reproducer Command and Control.

  • Chapter 7 covers Packet Telemetry Downlink (TMDL).

  • Chapter 8 covers the Digital Data Bus Acquisition Formatting Standard.

  • Chapter 9 covers the Telemetry Attributes Transfer Standard (TMATS).

  • Chapter 10 covers the Digital On-board Recorder Standard.

  • Chapter 11 covers the Recorder Data Packet Format Standard.

  • Chapter 21 covers the Telemetry Network Standard (TmNS).

  • Chapter 22 covers Network-Based Protocol Suite.

  • Chapter 23 covers Metadata Configuration.

  • Chapter 24 covers Message formats.

  • Chapter 25 covers Management Resources.

  • Chapter 26 covers TmNSDataMessage Transfer Protocol.

  • Chapter 27 covers the Radio Frequency Network Access Layer.

  • Chapter 28 covers Radio Frequency Network Management.

Flight Termination:

IRIG 313-01 addresses the standards for flight termination receivers/decoders.

Disclaimer: The information in this guide is designed to help you understand our products. It is correct to the best of our knowledge and at the time of writing. However Photo-Sonics International Limited does not accept any liability for its use. Instead the latest documentation from the relevant authority should be consulted.