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Common Modular Simulator (CMS)

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The PHARE Programme had, from the very beginning, identified the need for a common integration environment which allowed the creation of a homogeneous infrastructure with the aim of facilitating and harmonising the development as well as the evolution of ATM simulators in the different research establishments. As a consequence, the Common Modular Simulator (CMS) project was launched.
The Common Modular Simulator project was established within PHARE as a support activity with the main objectives to:
  • Provide a simulation and experimentation environment for new ATM concepts that permitted the identification of software components and the exchange and integration of components between individual partners.
  • Improve the flexibility and adaptability of real-time ATC simulators.
  • Permit closer collaboration between member establishments, and cross fertilisation of research ideas through the exchange of software components.
The following design principles were applied to CMS to achieve these objectives:
  • Modularity: to master the complexity of ATC simulators, CMS proposed decompose ATC simulators into a set of sub-systems of reasonable size.
  • Flexibility: in an ATC simulation context, changes are likely to occur. As a consequence, CMS put the emphasis on flexibility and expandability to ease rapid evolution in functional specifications and the plug-in of new components.
  • Standardisation. To ease the exchange of components, priority was given to the development and standardisation of Application Programming Interfaces (API’s). The definitions of the CMS APIs are based on a standard client/server model.
Most of the effort within the CMS project was spent on an incremental definition of standard Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This resulted in the delivery of a set of ATM APIs that has since acquired the status of ‘de facto’ European standard, playing an important role as input to other European projects such as PATIO, CINCAT, DA VINCI and AVENUE each of which built on the CMS concepts.

A second major product of the CMS project was the PARADISE prototype. This was designed to serve as a validation test bed for the standard PHARE APIs.

Many of the conclusions from the CMS project remain applicable to similar projects today. Notably:
  • When defining an API, it is not sufficient to just define the data types, the procedures and the events. It is important to also define the semantic of the data types as well as the applicative protocol supported by the API. The Business layer.
  • The nature of R&D is such that the API’s must be capable of evolution to support new tools and ATM components.
  • Such “standards” are of no value if there is not a global commitment of all the interested partners.

For further information

The PHARE Common Modular Simulator is documented in the following:
  Acrobat 99-70-04 Common Modular Simulator Final Report307 Kb