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The advantages of a single metadata standard for FTI hardware

January 19, 2015 | BY: Alan Cooke

Comparison of the qualities of a mature metadata standard


In general, FTI users have to setup and configure equipment from multiple vendors. Typically configuration information is described using metadata. This metadata is usually described in a file using a format and structure that can be processed by vendor equipment and/or software. In general, each vendor has its own specific metadata format. This imposes additional burdens on FTI users, distracting them from their principal task of instrumenting aircraft.

At present, no one metadata standard dominates in the FTI community. In the United States, TMATS is widely used in military FTI applications but elsewhere and in civil applications, users of FTI equipment generally use multiple proprietary formats. At present there are multiple ongoing efforts to develop a metadata standard that is acceptable to both FTI vendors and users of FTI equipment.

There are several criteria which Curtiss-Wright believes should be met in order to meet the needs of the FTI community, which are outlined with a comparison of some popular standards in the following table:
 

Standard TMATS XidML MDL iHAL
Vendor neutral Y Y Y Y
Easily processed Y Y Y Y
FTI domain N Y Y Y
Popular Y Y N N
Flexible N Y Y Y
Extensible N Y Y Y
Self-describing Y Y Y Y
ConOps Modelling N Y Y Y


Curtiss-Wright has standardized on XidML as its FTI metadata standard. It has done this because it has been proven to be meet both its needs and the needs of its customers. It has evolved through many iterations to a point where it has been shown to be flexible enough to describe any device from any vendor and can handle new and unanticipated communication and messaging protocols.

To learn more about metadata and the different standards, read our white-paper on the history and evolution of metadata.

 

Author’s Biography

Alan Cooke

Principal Software Architect


Alan Cooke is Principal Software Architect within the Avionics & Electronics group of Curtiss-Wright. He received his Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics from Dublin City University. Joining Curtiss-Wright in 2000 as a software engineer, he is now closely involved in the design and maintenance of the XidML schema as Principal Software Architect.

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