3.1 - An Adaptable Constraints-based Metadata Description Language (MDL) System for Flight Test Instrumentation Configuration

etc2016 - 36. European Telemetry and Test Conference
2016-05-10 - 2016-05-12
Nürnberg, Germany
3. Video & Data Management
M. Neumannn, J. Moore - The Boeing Company, Washington (USA), S. Pantham - Consultant, Washington (USA), M. Moodie, P. Noonan, A. Whittington - Southwest Research Institute®, San Antonio (USA)
93 - 98


The current telemetry device provider landscape is diverse in approach and capability, and choosing the "best" devices for a particular solution inevitably involves a mix of devices from different vendors. Devices have differing capabilities and limitations. Each vendor offers their own proprietary configuration toolset. In the past it has been possible for the flight test community to build system-wide configurations at very high cost by reverse engineering business rules for existing flight test configuration systems. In addition, technical proficiency was required by the users for every tool in this widely varying set or risk being locked into a single vendor. Historically, the Boeing Flight Test Computing System (FTCS) and similar systems have device rules tightly coupled into the software, and so as device constraints change or new devices are added, significant work is required to update and maintain the software. To solve this problem, Boeing and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) developed a constraints-based and MDL-centric configuration management approach. Based on this approach, the Boeing Company has developed its own MDL based Modular Instrumentation Setup Tool (MIST) to manage and simplify the configuration of new devices for their users. This paper highlights the success of this approach on the 737 MAX program and discusses how constraints were implemented, how validation occurs, and shows how the system can be rapidly updated with new constraints based on device changes or user insight.