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DEBAT Project

Project Title   Developement of EAST Based Access Tools
Project Acronym   DEBAT
Contractor(s)   CS IS - Communication & Systemes, Information Systems (F)


Project Objectives
             User Group
          How it works


Objectives   Top

The main objective of “Development of EAST Based Access Tools??? is to build a set of enhanced tools built upon EAST technologies to provide engineers, scientists and end-users with powerful tools covering the entire data life cycle (modelling/definition, production/generation, editing, accessing, checking, processing, extracting, querying, post-processing,…).

Another objective is to promote and diffuse DEBAT tools family and concepts to the potential user community (existing fields of application or new ones) by making them aware of the availability and advantages of these enhanced tools (DEBAT workshop, web site, demonstration kit,…).

The underlying philosophy is to build on the knowledge and capitalised experience gained during previous developments (CNES, CS SI and ESA) being carried out for several years, to take advantage of the lessons learned from current/past EAST user projects (limitations, expectations), and to take into account new requirements (coming from the analysis of a range of selected projects/missions) and forthcoming requirements.



There are two major identified axes of work:

  • Improvements (or new developments) to existing tools within current fields of application: this covers the extensions and enhancements of EAST language and tools for well-known domains where the degree of confidence is high due to past experience. The final results of these developments are expected to be high quality software: reliable, well engineered, user friendly, properly documented and flexible.


  • TM/TC fields of application: this covers the application of EAST technologies to TM/TC processing which is a critical domain that requires in depth analysis. The main objective for this new field of application is to provide the “proof of concept???, i.e. to analyse (and potentially demonstrate) the feasibility and advantages gained from applying EAST in the TM/TC arena.

The DEBAT project is to be carried out in two phases:

  • Analysis and studies phase: this first phase covers mainly the identification, analysis and ranking of the limitations of the current tools set and expected enhancements for fulfilling the expressed requirements, the identification of other areas of work that might become candidates for future work, and the production of an overall implementation and diffusion plan.


  • Implementation phase: this second phase covers mainly the design, implementation, validation and demonstration of the developments carried out during DEBAT project.


Context   Top

EAST Technology is a data workshop relying on the following international recommendations:

  • EAST (Enhanced Ada SubseT) primarily imagined by CNES and designed in the framework of CCSDS Panel II (CCSDS 644.0-B-1 and ISO 15889:2000). As the name implies (Enhanced Ada SubseT), EAST is based upon the ADA language (in fact, EAST is 100% compliant with the ADA syntax). EAST was designed to create non-ambiguous descriptions of data formats including syntactic (logical and physical) information.


  • DEDSL (Data Entity Dictionary Specification language) designed in the framework of CCSDS Panel II. DEDSL allows to add semantic information to data by the means of semantic attributes. Two implementations are available: one in PVL (Parameter Value Language), the other one in XML (eXtensible Markup Language).

Valuable information can also be found on CNES EAST web site.


Through a co-ordinated process between CNES and CS, EAST technology has been developed (primarily in a Research & Technology Development context) with the following major objectives in mind:

  • to provide complete, perennial, easily understandable and evolutionary descriptions of data formats, including syntactic and semantic information,


  • to provide engineers, scientists and end-users with generic tools for supporting the technology:
    • to easily describe the data formats and make them evolve,
    • to produce quickly test data independently from storage media,
    • to access and extract the values of the data without having to write specific code,
    • to format the data on their storage medium with a structure that matches their description.


The main benefits gained from making use of EAST technologies could be summarised as follows:

  • Ensuring data preservation: being free from non perennial file formats, and using a well defined formalism (instead of textual descriptions like Word or Pdf documents) with a computer compatible format (ADA subset, PVL, XML),


  • Adding value to data: with possibilities to define “data about data???, i.e. syntactic and semantic metadata allowing an easier understanding of the data by human-beings or computers and adding real value to the data,


  • Making data life cycle easier: providing a suite of tools for all phases of data handling, allowing to process data with almost no developments.



User Group   Top

Role of the user group

The DEBAT user group is set-up in co-operation with ESA and CNES. It is intended to provide all the project long and from an end-user point of view:

  • its appraisal and assessment of the orientations given to the DEBAT tools (envisaged changes, critical choices),
  • some suggestions, needs or expected enhancements to be taken into account in the frame of DEBAT or in future areas of work,
  • its evaluation of the final tools and results

The user group is actively involved in the project:

  • The documents produced in the course of the project are diffused to the users group in order to get its appraisal and early feedback,
  • Periodic reports gathering major information (orientations, choices, design,…) are sent to the group,
  • The users group is invited to participate to the major milestones reviews (e.g. SRR, PRD, CDR, …) in order to be actively involved in the project.

Composition of the user group

The user group is composed of the following persons:

Nestor Peccia ESA
Gian Maria Pinna ESA
Eric Monjoux ESA
Michel Nonon-Latapie CNES
Françoise Schiavon CNES
Thierry Guinle CNES
EAST expert
Denis Minguillon CNES
Alessandro Ciarlo ESA
Carlos Guerreiro CS SI


How it works   Top

The DEBAT workshop provides a set of enhanced tools covering the entire data life cycle:

  • Modelling: DEBAT Data Modeller is the data description generator tool. It permits to create an unambiguous, complete, understandable and evolutionary description of the data covering the syntactic and semantic aspects. It features EAST and DEDSL norms and provides a powerful and ergonomic GUI.


  • Editing and simulating: DEBAT Data Producer & Editor enables to do the basic actions on data (edition, production, modification and correction functionalities) and generate files or data flows for simulation purposes.


  • Extracting and querying: DEBAT Data Extractor & Querying allows the users to extract subsets or samples of data and to search for parameters values with a complete querying language. When data are included in huge files, this tool permits to find a definite parameter value in a short time and to display or process a part of a big data file.


  • Processing: DEBAT Utilities is composed of a set of plug-in tools allowing (among other things) to convert, compare and check data. Thanks to the plug-in system that permits to add or to run any external tool, users can then use data for any handling without running software outside DEBAT tool suite.


  • Post-processing: the DEBAT Post-Processing Tools are a set of plug-in tools allowing to process data and to display the results in several ways: 2D, 3D, etc. Users can then compute/post-process data values using their own plugged software.




Documentation   Top

Here are some documentation that can help to understand the technology.

CCSDS recommendations [www.ccsds.org]

  • CCSDS 644.0-B-2: The Data Description Language EAST Specification (CCSD0010). Blue Book. Issue 2. November 2000
  • CCSDS 645.0-G-1: The Data Description Language EAST - A Tutorial. Green Book. Issue 1. May 1997
  • CCSDS 646.0-G-1: The Data Description Language EAST - List of Conventions. Green Book. Issue 1. May 1997
  • CCSDS 647.1-B-1: Data Entity Dictionary Specification Language (DEDSL) - Abstract Syntax (CCSD0011). Blue Book. Issue 1. June
  • CCSDS 647.2-B-1: Data Entity Dictionary Specification Language (DEDSL) - PVL Syntax (CCSD0012). Blue Book. Issue 1. June 2001
  • CCSDS 647.3-B-1: Data Entity Dictionary Specification Language (DEDSL) - XML/DTD Syntax (CCSD0013). Blue Book. Issue 1. January 2002

EAST documentation

Some relevant and useful documentation can be found on the CNES EAST web site


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Page last modified on Tuesday 14 of December 2010 13:36:37 CET by andreadv.