• AJAX: A NEW TWIST ON EXISTING TECHNOLOGIES

      Gilorma, Mike; Apogee Labs, Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2007-10)
      Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) has improved web applications in a way that has enhanced performance and made the user experience more like that of a desktop application. As the performance of PCs increases and broadband Internet access is more prevalent, switching between web pages is less painful than ever. One of the biggest advantages of AJAX is the ability for a web application to update only a small piece of data without refreshing the whole page. AJAX also allows for piecewise validation of user entry as opposed to the standard form entry with which we have become so accustomed. This paper describes how AJAX enabled applications are different from classic web applications and shows the advantages and disadvantages from both client and server sides of an AJAX enabled application. AJAX is not a new technology, but rather a new approach to web applications that uses standards already in place for XHTML, CSS, DOM, XML, and JavaScript. It is this new approach that eliminates the full page refresh that was so commonplace and now gives web applications the ability to look and feel more like desktop applications.
    • APPLICATIONS OF A HARDWARE SPECIFICATION FOR INSTRUMENTATION METADATA

      Hamilton, John; Fernandes, Ronald; Graul, Mike; Jones, Charles H.; Knowledge Based Systems, Inc; Edwards Air Force Base (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2007-10)
      In this paper, we discuss the benefits of maintaining a neutral-format hardware specification along with the telemetry metadata specification. We present several reasons and methods for maintaining the hardware specifications, as well as several potential uses of hardware specification. These uses include cross-validation with the telemetry metadata and automatic generation of both metadata and instrumentation networks.
    • DESIGN OF A CONFIGURATIONAND MANAGEMENT TOOL FORINSTRUMENTATION NETWORKS

      Roach, John; Teletronics Technology Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2007-10)
      The development of network-based data acquisition systems has resulted in a new architecture for supporting flight instrumentation that has the potential to revolutionize the way we test our aircraft. However, the inherent capability and flexibility in a networked test architecture can only be realized by the flight engineer if a sufficiently powerful toolset is available that can configure and manage the system. This paper introduces the concept of an instrumentation configuration and management system (ICMS) that acts as the central resource for configuring, controlling, and monitoring the instrumentation network. Typically, the ICMS supports a graphical user interface into the workings of the instrumentation network, providing the user with a friendly and efficient way to verify the operation of the system. Statistics being gathered at different peripherals within the network would be collected by this tool and formatted for interpretation by the user. Any error conditions or out-of-bounds situations would be detected by the ICMS and signaled to the user. Changes made to the operation of any of the peripherals in the network (if permitted) would be managed by the ICMS to ensure consistency of the system. Furthermore, the ICMS could guarantee that the appropriate procedures were being followed and that the operator had the required privileges needed to make any changes. This paper describes the high-level design of a modular and multi-platform ICMS and its use within the measurement-centric aircraft instrumentation network architecture under development by the Network Products Division at Teletronics.
    • INTEGRATING ENGINEERING UNIT CONVERSIONS AND SENSOR CALIBRATION INTO INSTRUMENTATION SETUP SOFTWARE

      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.
    • MEASUREMENT-CENTRIC DATA MODEL FOR INSTRUMENTATION CONFIGURATION

      Malatesta, William; Fink, Clay; Naval Air Systems Command; Johns Hopkins University (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2007-10)
      CTEIP has launched the integrated Network Enhanced Telemetry (iNET) project to foster advances in networking and telemetry technology to meet emerging needs of major test programs. In the past these programs have been constrained by vendor proprietary equipment configuration utilities that force a significant learning curve on the part of instrumentation personnel to understand hardware idiosyncrasies and require significant human interaction and manipulation of data to be exchanged between different components of the end-to-end test system. This paper describes an ongoing effort to develop a measurement-centric data model of airborne data acquisition systems. The motivation for developing such a model is to facilitate hardware and software interoperability and to alleviate the need for vendor-specific knowledge on the part of the instrumentation engineer. This goal is driven by requirements derived from scenarios collected by the iNET program. This approach also holds the promise of decreased human interaction with and manipulation of data to be exchanged between system components.
    • METADATA MODELING FOR AIRBORNE DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEMS

      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.
    • TOWARDS FULLY AUTOMATED INSTRUMENTATION TEST SUPPORT

      Jones, Charles H.; Edwards Air Force Base (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2007-10)
      Imagine that a test vehicle has just arrived at your test facility and that it is fully instrumented with sensors and a data acquisition system (DAS). Imagine that a test engineer logs onto the vehicle’s DAS, submits a list of data requirements, and the DAS automatically configures itself to meet those data requirements. Imagine that the control room then contacts the DAS, downloads the configuration, and coordinates its own configuration with the vehicle’s setup. Imagine all of this done with no more human interaction than the original test engineer’s request. How close to this imaginary scenario is the instrumentation community? We’re not there yet, but through a variety of efforts, we are headed towards this fully automated scenario. This paper outlines the current status, current projects, and some missing pieces in the journey towards this end. This journey includes standards development in the Range Commander’s Council (RCC), smart sensor standards development through the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts, efforts by the integrated Network Enhanced Telemetry (iNET) project, and other projects involved in reaching this goal.
    • UNLEASHING THE POWER OF XML

      Corry, Diarmuid; ACRA CONTROL Inc (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2007-10)
      Over the last few years XML has been growing in importance as a language for describing the meta-data associated with a complete flight test. Three years ago ACRA CONTROL introduced XidML as an open, published XML standard describing flight test data acquisition from the air to the ground. Recently, XML has been adopted by the TMATS RCC committee and is currently being studied by iNET. While many papers have focused on what XML is and why it is a powerful language, few have related this to practical benefits for the end user. This paper attempts to address this gap. The paper describes simple cost effective tools for generating XML through an intuitive GUI, validating XML information against a schema and transforming XML into useful reports. In particular a suite of value added tools for XidML is described.