Kupferschmidt, Benjamin; Teletronics Technology Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2007-10)
      Historically, different aspects of the configuration of an airborne instrumentation system were specified in a variety of different software applications. Instrumentation setup software handled the definition of measurements and PCM Formats while separate applications handled pre-flight checkout, calibration and post-flight data analysis. This led to the manual entry of the same data multiple times. Industry standards such as TMATS strive to address this problem by creating a data-interchange format for passing setup information from one application to another. However, a better alternative is to input all of the relevant setup information about the sensor and the measurement when it is initially created in the instrumentation vendor’s software. Furthermore, an additional performance enhancement can be achieved by adding the ability to perform sensor calibration and engineering unit conversions to pre-flight data visualization software that is tightly coupled with the instrumentation setup software. All of the setup information can then be transferred to the ground station for post-flight processing and data reduction. Detailed reports can also be generated for each measurement. This paper describes the flow of data through an integrated airborne instrumentation setup application that allows sensors and measurements to be defined, acquired, calibrated and converted from raw counts to engineering units. The process of performing a sensor calibration, configuring engineering unit conversions, and importing calibration and transducer data sheets will also be discussed.

      Kupferschmidt, Benjamin; Pesciotta, Eric; Teletronics Technology Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2007-10)
      Many engineers express frustration with the multitude of vendor specific tools required to describe measurements and configure data acquisition systems. In general, tools are incompatible between vendors, forcing the engineer to enter the same or similar data multiple times. With the emergence of XML technologies, user centric data modeling for the flight test community is now possible. With this new class of technology, a vendor neutral, standard language to define measurements and configure systems may finally be realized. However, the allure of such a universal language can easily become too abstract, making it untenable for hardware configuration and resulting in a low vendor adoption rate. Conversely, a language that caters too much to vendor specific configuration will defeat its purpose. Achieving this careful balance is not trivial, but is possible. Doing so will produce a useful standard without putting it out of the reach of equipment vendors. This paper discusses the concept, merits, and possible solutions for a standard measurement metadata model. Practical solutions using XML and related technologies are discussed.