This guide is based on the evaluation version of MCT that includes sample user objects, data, and views. If you are using the full MCT platform and creating your own user objects, your mileage will—and should—vary.
The evaluation version does not persist created objects,
formatting, or displays.
You can download a PDF of this Quick Start Guide here.
Full user documentation for the MCT platform distribution is coming soon.
MCT is a user-object oriented system. With MCT, you will use a single interface to work with objects that correspond to the things you want to view and manipulate. Each representation of a user object is called a manifestation of that object. The object’s core properties are independent of any particular manifestation. All user objects can interact with all other objects in consistent, predictable ways.
User objects provided in the evaluation version include telemetry elements with simulated data feeds, a collection containing these objects, and a simple composition in a canvas view.
MCT remains running as long as at least one MCT window is open. When you close that window, an alert box will ask you to confirm the shutdown.
The first thing you will see when you start MCT is your User Environment, opened in its own window. The User Environment consists of a List panel and an Inspector panel, and contains every other MCT object available to you. Objects you can modify will appear in bold.
The evaluation version will not let you log on as another user, but you can see how sharing works by dragging and dropping objects into your own drop box.
Select any object to get more information about it or see a different view in the inspector panel.
You can search for any MCT objects by their base displayed name.
Check Created by Me to limit your search to objects that you have created.
An asterisk stands for any number of consecutive characters.
You can use multiple asterisks in the same search string.
Search results are limited to 100 entries. If you want to see objects that are not among those first 100 results, you must narrow the scope of your search.
Each MCT window has a standard menu bar. In addition, you can access contextual menus from many places in the MCT environment.
MCT’s menu bar presents only the menus and menu items that apply to the particular user objects manifested in the window. As you add objects to or remove objects from windows, you may notice that the menu options for that window change. If an item is grayed out, it is not currently available.
The object widget on the left of the menu bar is a “handle” for the entire object. Going from left to right across the menu bar, the scope of the menu narrows.
Right-click a list or canvas object for a contextual menu containing all actions possible for that object’s particular manifestation in the current context.
Alphanumeric (alpha) view displays the operations name of the telemetry element and its current value and status, which are updated continuously from the data feed. The Alpha view of a collection is displayed as a table
Plot view is a graphical presentation of plottable values of telemetry elements or collections.
Currently, only the first 30 members of a collection are plotted.
Graphical view displays the data value or the value of a data evaluator graphically.
An Evaluator view is also available for MCT objects with associated enumerators or multis that evaluate the data output. The Evaluator view displays the enumerator, its possible outputs, and the current value and result.
In the evaluation version, any objects or compositions that you create will be lost when you close MCT.
The newly created objects will be created inside the selected collection. You can add them to other collections after they have been created.
The images themselves are not stored in the MCT database, so you must use files that will be available to MCT at runtime. MCT can display SVG files, plus whatever other formats are supported by the local Java installation. PNG and JPG seem to work on all platforms.
All user objects share these basic features:
Right-click an object to bring up a contextual menu of available options
Before you can remove the last remaining manifestation of the object, you will be prompted to confirm the deletion of the core object
If you open a telemetry collection into a new window, it will have three panels—a list, an inspector, and a free-form canvas area where you can compose custom configurations.
Collections with objects already on the canvas will default to showing only the canvas panel. You can open and resize the other panels at any time.
Individual telemetry elements open into a single-panel window with selectable views.
MCT displays are compositions of user objects. You can create your own displays by creating empty telemetry collections, dropping existing telemetry elements or collections into them, and then arranging them and formatting these objects within the canvas panel.
User-created collections can contain other collections.
MCT includes a variety of options that allow you to format:
All canvas formatting is associated with only that particular canvas. This is true of both formatting the canvas panel itself and formatting panels on the canvas.
If an object in the collection is opened into its own window or added to another collection, it will default to its original core views.
You can access formatting options for selected panels on the canvas:
Always be aware of whether you are formatting a core view of the object or the view of a manifestation of the object in a canvas panel.
You can also open the object into its own window, use the window’s View menu to switch to the desired view, and then click the expander arrow next to the view label.
To format the contents of an alpha view, open the control area at the top of the alpha view. Different options will be available, depending on whether you have selected table rows, columns, or cells.
If you have not selected anything inside the table, you will only be able to choose whether nested collections will be displayed as rows or columns.
If you have selected a row or column, you will also be able to format:
To limit your formatting to individual cells, select the cells rather than the row or column that contains them.
The top section of the control area is for formatting the initial plot settings.
The bottom sections control plot behavior when space for the incoming data runs out on the time axis or the nontime axis.
To format the contents of a graphical view, open the control area at the top of the graphical view.
The controls allow you to select:
If an evaluator is associated with the telemetry element, you can assign colors to each of the outputs.