Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Timothy Jacobs, PhD


Currently, no standard methodology exists that enables cockpit display engineers to evaluate software tools used in the development of graphical cockpit displays. Furthermore, little research has been accomplished in comparing current software development tools with traditional hand-coded methods, This research effort discusses a framework for analyzing cockpit display software development tools and follows through with a detailed analysis comparing today's hand-coding standard, OpenGL, with two of today's cockpit display software development suites, Virtual Application Prototyping System (VAPS) and Display Editor. The comparison exploits the analysis framework establishing the advantages and disadvantages of the three software development suites. The analysis framework is comprised of several detailed questionnaires that enable the cockpit engineer to quantify important subjective criteria such as learning curve, user interface, readability, portability, extensibility, and maintenance. The questionnaires developed for each subjective criterion contain questions with weighted answers that enable the cockpit engineer to evaluate graphical software development tools, The questions were adapted from multiple sources including personal experience, display experts, pilots, navigators, case tool, and text sources. In addition, the comparative analysis evaluates several objective criteria with respect to development tools and the displays generated with them such as update rate, development time, executable size, and CPU/Memory usage level.

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The author's Vita page is omitted.