Spacecraft display software is very costly and requires extensive testing and certification. Much testing must be repeated if the display software is changed in any way. Additionally, hand-coded displays are costly to create and maintain. For certain types of display formats with limited graphical content, the hand-coding is very repetitive between display formats.
A generic display format software engine renders display formats from external files at run time to generate the required display formats. These external files describe the selected features, positions, and properties of all on-screen elements. The display formats can be created or modified without changing or recompiling the software engine. Creating a new display format definition file is much easier than creating the same display via hand-coding. The repetitive use of display functionality on different displays does not require the code to be repeated in each display format; instead, reuse of the code in the engine can be specified with a few symbols in the external definition file.
This work was done by Patrick Laport and Lee Morin of Johnson Space Center. MSC-25370-1