The STEP-TAS / TASverter ecosystem
This document provides access to more detailed help information about TASverter and the TASverterGUI, as well as a high level overview of the protocol, tools, and the most common conversion workflows.
What is STEP-TAS?
STEP-TAS is a data exchange protocol
It uses the building blocks provided by the ISO-10303 standards, i.e. “STEP”
It was designed specifically for Thermal Applications for Space, i.e. “TAS”
It is completely different to those protocols used for CAD model exchange.
The STEP-TAS protocol consists of four modules of functionality:
STEP-NRF: network model and results format for flight, test and simulation data
STEP-MGM: meshed geometric model using simple thin-shell primitives
STEP-SKM: space kinematic model for articulated joints (currently unused)
STEP-SMA: space mission aspects for orbits and pointing (currently unused)
The STEP-TAS protocol is an ECSS standard available for free download at:
What is TASverter?
TASverter is an in-house tool written by ESA as a STEP-TAS test bench and validator.
It provides strict STEP-TAS file validation and a STEP-TAS geometry viewer
It now provides a TMMverter module for converting some thermal network model formats
A graphical user interface is available to help the user set conversion options
It is old and only handles “legacy” versions of some formats because the tools have evolved
You should use the tools’ own up-to-date STEP-TAS interfaces if possible as shown below
See also the Summary of TASverter supported and unsupported formats table.
Which tools currently work with STEP-TAS?
The diagram below shows the possible workflows for common model conversions:
the black lines show the currently recommended paths for geometry conversion
the grey lines show older-but-still-usable-with-extra-work paths for older geometry formats
the blue lines show the thermal network model conversion paths
Note that there is no direct conversion path from a geometry to a thermal network model.
TASverter is still useful for STEP-TAS file validation, the STEP-TAS geometry file viewer, and its TMMverter module for converting ESATAN and SINDA/Fluint TMM files. Note that TASverter handles geometry to geometry, or network model to network model conversion, but not both.