• EXTENSION OF A COMMON DATA FORMAT FOR REAL-TIME APPLICATIONS

      Wegener, John A.; Davis, Rodney L.; The Boeing Company (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2004-10)
      The HDF5 (Hierarchical Data Format) data storage family is an industry standard format that allows data to be stored in a common format and retrieved by a wide range of common tools. HDF5 is a widely accepted industry standard container for data storage developed by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The HDF5 data storage family includes HDF-Time History, intended for data processing, and HDF-Packet, intended for real-time data collection; each of these is an extension to the basic HDF5 format, which defines data structures and associated interrelationships, optimized for that particular purpose. HDF-Time History, developed jointly by Boeing and NCSA, is in the process of being adopted throughout the Boeing test community and by its external partners. The Boeing/NCSA team is currently developing HDF-Packet to support real-time streaming applications, such as airborne data collection and recording of received telemetry. The advantages are significant cost reduction resulting from storing the data in its final format, thus avoiding conversion between a myriad of recording and intermediate formats. In addition, by eliminating intermediate file translations and conversions, data integrity is maintained from recording through processing and archival storage. As well, HDF5 is a general-purpose wrapper, into which can be stored processed data and other data documentation information (such as calibrations), thus making the final data file self-documenting. This paper describes the basics of the HDF-Time History, the extensions required to support real-time acquisition with HDF-Packet, and implementation issues unique to real-time acquisition. It also describes potential future implementations for data acquisition systems in different segments of the test data industry.
    • AN INSTRUMENTATION CONTROL SYSTEM THAT UTILIZES AN AVIONICS PILOT DISPLAY INTERFACE

      Wegener, John A.; Zettwoch, Robert N.; The Boeing Company (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2004-10)
      Flight Test instrumentation control units have traditionally been low-technology units with mechanical switches, readouts, and perhaps an RS232 interface. As the complexity of Flight Test Instrumentation systems and operational requirements increase, and as cockpit space becomes scarce, these control units are no longer sufficient. These control units need to provide capabilities commensurate with the complexity of the instrumentation systems they control. This paper describes an instrumentation control system that uses a Boeing Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) Flight Test Instrumentation designed Instrumentation Control Unit (ICU). The ICU communicates with the avionics system to allow pilot control via existing aircraft displays. By taking advantage of a relatively simple protocol to interface with the avionics system, the substantial cost of reprogramming the avionics software is avoided, and software control is shifted to the Flight Test group, thus allowing a tremendous increase in system flexibility at reasonable cost. Functions of the unit can be changed relatively quickly and inexpensively. This promises a wide range of future applications, such as in-flight monitoring of flight-critical instrumentation parameters by the pilot, control of the instrumentation system via uplink (with pilot override), and real-time in-flight selection of telemetered data streams and parameters. This paper describes the baseline instrumentation control system and requirements to be used on the EA-18G Flight Test Program, plus additional future capabilities.