3. Purpose

DAVE-ML is intended to encode (for exchange and long-term archive) an entire flight vehicle dynamic simulation data package, as is traditionally done in initial delivery and updates to engineering development, flight training, and accident investigation simulations. It is intended to provide a programming-language-independent representation of the aerodynamic, mass/inertia, landing gear, propulsion, and guidance, navigation and control laws for a particular vehicle.

Traditionally, flight simulation data packages are often a combination of paper documents and data files on magnetic or optical media. This collection of information is very much vendor-specific and is often incomplete or inconsistent. Many times, the preparing facility makes incorrect assumptions about how the receiving facility's simulation environment is structured. As a result, the re-hosting of the dynamic flight model by the receiving facility can take weeks or longer as the receiving facility staff learns the contents and arrangement of the data package, the model structure, the various data formats, and variable names/units/sign conventions. The staff then spends additional time running check-cases (if any were included in the transmittal) and tracking down inevitable differences in results.

There are obvious benefits to automating most of this tedious, manual process. Often, when a pair of facilities has already exchanged one model, the transmission of another model is much faster since the receiving facility will probably have devised some scripts and processes to convert the data (both model and check-case data).

The purpose of DAVE-ML is to develop a common exchange format for these flight dynamic models. The advantage gained is to enable any simulation facility or laboratory, after having written a DAVE-ML import and/or export script, to automatically receive and/or transmit such packages (and updates to those packages) rapidly with other DAVE-ML-compliant facilities.

To accomplish this goal, the DAVE-ML project is starting with the bulkiest part of most aircraft simulation packages: the aerodynamics model. This initial version of DAVE-ML can be used to transport a complete aerodynamics model, including descriptions of the aerodynamic build-up equations and data tables, and include references to the documentation about the aerodynamics model and check-case data. This format also lends itself to any static subsystem model (i.e. one that contains no state vector) such as the mass and inertia model, or a weapons load-out model, or perhaps a navigational database. The only requirement is that model outputs must be unambiguously defined in terms of inputs, with no past history (state) information required.

DAVE-ML forms the encoding portion of the Flight Dynamic Model Exchange Standard, ANSI/AIAA S-119-2011. More information is available at the S-119 web site [AIAA11].