The Monsoon Configuration Process

An overview of the main steps of the MONSOON configuration process is shown in Fig. 1. These steps are not necessarily sequential, and each step is typically the responsibility of a different person: the DHE board designer, software designer, and system integrator.

The System Configuration level defines how many PAN-DHE pairs are required, the partitions of the focal plane, and determines the need for a supervisory node (i.e., when there is more than one PAN-DHE pair).

The DHE Configuration level defines the number and type of DHE boards/modules for every specified DHE, taking in consideration that the selection and configuration of DHE boards will depend on the specific application.

The Board Configuration level defines the intrinsic functionality of every DHE board/module. It provides the definition of every function contained in a DHE board, where each function is assigned a generic name. This level also defines the specifics of special board settings (like adjustable voltage ranges or any special function not common to every board of its type). Every independent board or module will have its own configuration file at this level.

The Hardware Function Assignment level is where the generic functions of the DHE are linked to specific functions of the focal plane.

The Software Configuration level is where the software specific functions are defined, and where the hardware functions are assigned meaningful ("human-readable") names.

For all these levels the configuration information is contained in structured XML files, one for every module. A common MONSOON document descriptor file defines the allowed tags and rules for those files. It is a standard DTD file that applies to all the XML files. There is also a common XSL file (a "display translator") to produce the HTML code required for display in any XML-capable web browser (the configuration viewer), and another XSL translator file for tools. This scheme allows us to neatly separate data from presentation.

Figure 1. The MONSOON configuration process.

The Configuration Record Generation level is the last step of the process. This level is where all the information contained in the previous levels is automatically translated and correlated to produce a configuration record file that is used by the MONSOON software to setup the user interface and the functionality of the system.

In the current implementation of MONSOON, this record file is a standard CSV (Comma Separated Values) file.

The processing rules are defined in a special XSL file ("Configuration Generator"), which is applied to the XML data to generate the configuration record file.

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