Origins of S1000D
S1000D was derived from civil aviation standards and was originally used by European defense organizations that needed to interchange content. Today, it has been expanded to include Air, Land, and Sea systems and is used for defense and civil aviation documentation across the globe. The S1000D standard is maintained by the Technical Publications Specification Maintenance Group (TPSMG), which includes members from ASD, the United States' Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the Air Transport Association (ATA), and industry and defense leaders from most of the countries using the standard.
What is S1000D?
In the most simple terms, S1000D is a suite of information that includes a 2,762-page specification (Issue 4.0), a set of XML schemas, sample XML instances, and additional supporting documentation.
S1000D uses the concept of “Issues”, which refer to a specific version of the specification. These Issues are not superseded, which means that a contract for technical documentation can specify the requirement for a specific Issue of S1000D.
Using data modules
The specification prescribes the use of a “Common Source Data Base“ to manage “data modules”—discrete units of information with unique “Data Module Codes” that identify the specific component to which a data module applies (e.g., the master cylinder of a parking brake of the braking system) as well as the type of information it contains (e.g., wiring or illustrated parts data).
Documents are assembled from data modules by using “publication modules” which define the order in which data modules appear within a technical manual. This makes each data module reusable across multiple publications and when a data module is updated, the latest version will automatically be used by all publication modules in which it appears.
Covering the bases
S1000D also provides mechanisms for publication planning, content interchange, referencing, and publishing—in fact, the entire production process is prescribed by the specification, which ensures consistency and interchangeability.
Functionality for “Interactive Electronic Technical Publications” or IETPs is also defined in S1000D by a “functionality matrix” that describes the possible functionalities for IETP. Notably, the specification allows for the use of intelligent graphics, 3D models, and other multimedia content
Where is S1000D used?
Over the past several years, the S1000D standard has been gaining momentum around the globe - from North America to Australia. Both the civil aviation industry and North American defense organizations have started adopting S1000D, extending its use to support Land, Sea and Air systems.
S1000D is used not only for aircraft technical documentation, but for land vehicles and equipment, as well as shipboard systems and other sea-based systems. You will also find S1000D being used to produce documentation in support of new commercial aircraft, including the Boeing 787 and Airbus 350.