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The character of time-multiplexed pulse-code-modulation telemetry data is reviewed here, and requirements for demultiplexing and processing are considered. Salient design features of a high-performance "ground station" are presented. Reasons are given for the use of specialized system elements for recognition of synchronization patterns, tagging of samples with source identifiers, distribution to diverse destinations, and preselection of significant data. With a stored-program PCM ground station playing a major role, total data-system performance is far superior to that which would be obtainable if key functions were assigned to general purpose computers.