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Electrical and Computer Engineering


To assist in the processing of data files collected by the Space Dynamics Laboratory at Utah State University, the software project GENDACS has been completed. GENDACS, acronym for A Generalized Data Conversion System, will contribute to its research program.

Data are collected from various sensory instruments by the Computer Data Acquisition System. The instrument readings are brought in, tagged with the time they were taken, and stored on an optical disk in a compact, binary (non-ASCII) format. GENDACS is designed so that the program can read in such files, sort out the data, and convert them into a new ASCII configuration . The converted data are written to a separate file.

GENDACS provides considerable versatility in reading and writing different file configurations. This versatility is necessary because different data collecting software packages may organize and store data in varying styles. GENDACS makes it possible for an engineer to extract and manipulate data from different types of files, enabling other commercial graphing programs to analyze and display the results .

When the program is first operating , the user must define how the input data file is configured. Different input files may have different sequences of various data types . These data sequences need to be described to enable GENDACS to read in the data. Next, the user may give the program instructions to manipulate the data in various ways. Data values may be added or subtracted from each other, or constant numerical scaling factors may be applied to the data . Finally, the user must also define how the resultant data should be written out. Once this configuration information is given, GENDACS can proceed to process the file. Preliminary testing of GENDACS has confirmed its success in correctly processing data.

This software was written using object-oriented Pascal (programming language) . The code is designed for use on a PC-based computer system. Although primarily written to facilitate data analysis being accomplished at the Space Dynamics Laboratory, this program could easily be adapted for other users as well.