MI-3040 Core Functions
The MI-3040 package provides the core functions used by all other MI-3000 software components. It includes libraries that allow all other components to create and read MI-3000 configuration and data files.
The MI-3000 software organizes user information in “projects”. A project is a specific folder containing user configurations for data collection, plotting and analysis. All data collected under a project is also stored within the project. The user can create new projects as needed. Default configurations and templates are provided for any new project that is created. This is especially useful when a test range has several standard acquisitions or analyses that all projects should have available. Projects can easily be organized by specific AUT, class of antenna, by user, or by any other segmentation desired. The software operates on the “current” project and the user can switch between projects as desired.
The Plot function operates on data files to create plots by applying reusable plot definition files that contain settings for labels, titles, scales, colors, etc.
Plot capabilities include:
- Rectangular, polar, contour, color fill and isometric plots
- Up to 4 plots can be displayed with a single plot definition. Plot types can be mixed and data can come from separate data files.
- A rectangular or polar plot can contain up to 16 traces from the same file or different files.
- Plots can be directed to the screen, printer or data file as desired.
- Once a plot is displayed, the user can modify the basic plot presentation and save that configuration directly from the screen, allowing the user to quickly customize plots as desired.
- Plot tools such as rubber band zoom, markers, marker arithmetic, user annotations, and font size selections are provided.
- A batch plot mode is available that can produce a sequence of plots from a complex file where every plot can be a different scan, frequency, beam, or data channel combination.
- MI-3042 analysis definitions can be tied to a plot definition so that every time a plot is produced, the data is analyzed and the results included on the plot.
- Export plot data to various plain text or MS Office® formats.
The Report function produces summary reports of a data file. The user can select instrument configuration data only, measured data only or both in the report. Included in the Report function is a conversion utility that transforms MI-3000 data files in Microsoft Access® format into ASCII text or Microsoft Excel® format. A “thumbnail” viewer is also supplied that allows the user to select a data file name and see the basic frequency, data channel, and motion information in the file. An import utility for converting Microsoft Excel® files into MI-3000 data files is included.
The Sequencer function allows the user to execute Visual Basic® script files that tie simpler MI-3000 functions into complex operational sequences. For example, a simple script can prompt a range operator to perform manual operations, collect one or more data sets, manipulate data files, analyze data, and produce reports and plots of the results. For many complement of instruments, the script can also operate on the instruments during a data acquisition sequence. This function aids production or depot test environments by standardizing and simplifying repetitive steps.
For ranges that deal with classified frequencies that cannot be stored on disk, the Frequency Keeper function can be used. Acquisition definitions can be created with string names for frequencies instead of numerical values. When these acquisitions are executed, a memory resident utility activates and queries the operator for the actual frequencies desired. As long as the workstation is powered on, the utility will remember the frequencies. This feature insures that the frequency values are only kept in RAM and are not retained after the workstation is powered down. An alternative method is provided where frequencies are stored on disk, but all plots, analysis displays and printouts show only string names for frequencies.
A method for controlling operator access to MI-3000 functions is included. This function allows the administrator of the range to limit individual users. For example, a range may desire that range operators not have the ability to edit or change various configurations or scripts, only execute them. The function works in concert with the Windows® User Group concept. The software knows predefined Windows® user groups. Each user group allows a specific function within the MI-3000 Arena™ software. If none of the special user groups are created on the workstation, all users can use all MI-3000 functions. This is the factory default condition. If, for example, the range administrator wishes to limit editing of data acquisition configurations to one person, that user group is created on the workstation and only the user with this access is placed in that Windows® user group. All other users will be restricted from editing the acquisition configurations.