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EDX, what is it?The increasing use of electromagnetic modelling in antenna design has led to the need for a common way to exchange data between the various software tools available in this field.
The EDX Working Group was formed for the purpose, following previous attempts promoted by ESA, as a co-operation within the Antenna Centre of Excellence, a NoE under the 6th EU Framework Programme, and the European Antenna Modelling Library team, working under ESA contract.
The outcome is the Electromagnetic Data Exchange language (EDX). It is formed by three main elements. A neutral Electromagnetic Markup Language (EML), with a simple grammar is used for the data files. A set of agreed but open to evolution Electromagnetic Data Dictionaries (EDDs) establish the lexicon of the exchange language. A software library, the Electromagnetic Data Interface (EDI), simplifies access to data from C++, Fortran and Matlab® programs.
The EDX grammar is based on XML and inspired to NetCDF. The key idea is that a single data entity, the variable, is sufficient to the static representation of data stored into files.
For example, an electromagnetic field sampled on a plane at multiple frequencies can be represented as:
Component E (complex, dimension=3, unit=V/m)
Component H (complex, dimension=3, unit=A/m)
Data dictionaries contain and define the 'words' to be used to describe the physical entities, e.g. the electromagnetic field, for which data are stored in a file.
It establishes the precise meaning of the data, how they are represented numerically and the conventions adopted.
Here an sketch of how a physical quantity is represented in an EDX Data Dictionary:
The third element of EDX is a software library providing all functions required to access data. The Electromagnetic Data Interface (EDI) is a relatively small library (a few thousands lines) written in C++ and equipped with application programming interfaces in C++, FORTRAN90 and MATLAB®.
Finally Companion Tools are being developed to ease the use of the EDX core:
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