Setting a New Direction for Aerospace and Defense
S1000D standard is supported internationally by the Aerospace & Defense Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and the Aerospace Industries Association of America (AIA). Adopting a standardized approach leads to significant benefits in time to market, cost savings in the authoring process and interoperability between the Aerospace community.
Case Study: Automated TechPubs for T129 ATAK Helicopter
As a global aerospace and defense player, TAI has become Turkey's center of technology in design, development, modernization, manufacturing, integration and lifecycle support of integrated aerospace systems. The company produces an array of machinery, from fixed and rotary wing air platforms to UAVs and satellites.
TAI was selected to develop and build the new T129 ATAK helicopter, with AgustaWestland as the primary partner. The ATAK program was begun to meet the Turkish Armed Forces' requirements for an attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopter. The T129 is the result of the integration of Turkish developed high-tech avionics, airframe modifications, and weapon systems onto the combat proven AgustaWestland A129 airframe, with upgraded engines, transmission and rotor blades. It is in use by the Turkish Army, and is being offered to other services.
Developing the new T129 ATAK helicopter required the creation of staggering amounts of technical documentation, which TAI was formatting in the international S1000D standard.
S1000D is an international specification for preparing, managing, and using equipment maintenance and operations information, specifically for aerospace, defense and capital-intensive equipment applications. The S1000D standard is supported internationally, and specifically by the Aerospace & Defense Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and the Aerospace Industries Association of America (AIA). Adopting a standardized approach leads to significant benefits in time to market, cost savings in the authoring process and interoperability between the Aerospace community.
TAI authors their technical documentation using the Arbortext CSDB content management system. To improve their publishing process, Dakota assisted TAI by building a system that converts the nightly export of S1000D SGML content to XML. From a native XML database, Dakota developed an XSL-FO transformation that automatically publishes the XML content to PDF. The end result is that TAI can produce the whole set of S1000D technical manuals for the T129 ATAK with the click of a button.
Cost Savings Through Re-use
Content created using S1000D standard stores data in the form of "data modules," which act as standalone pieces of information. Data modules are stored in a Common Source Data Base (CSDB) or in other words, a central repository where content can be shared across an enterprise. The single greatest benefit for the Aerospace industry in complying with S1000D is re-use.
Re-use has been an outstanding concern among technical publication authors and business managers - both see the benefits in operational efficiency and cost-savings. Every data module has a unique data module code (DMC) that serves as a unique identifier thus preventing duplication of content into the CSDB. All data modules, with their respective DMCs, create a succinct relationship with larger pieces of related content. The standard provides detailed schemas and explanations to guide the determination of the DMC. If used in conjunction with the product breakdown, when creating the project Standard Numbering System (SNS), the DMC also identifies how the subcomponents being documented relate to larger components that comprise a piece of equipment.