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Universal File Formats for Modal Analysis Testing

Overview

Universal File (UF) formats were originally developed by the Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (SDRC) in the late 1960s and early 1970s to facilitate data transfer between computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided test (CAT) in order to facilitate computer aided engineering (CAE). SDRC, as part of EDS, continues to support and utilize the UF formats as part of their CAE software. Currently, MTS, Noise and Vibration Division supports and continues to develop IDEAS`software in the test area that utilizes UF formats.

The formats were originally developed as 80 character (card image), ASCII records that occur in a specific order according to each UF format. As computer files became routinely available, single UF formats were concatentated into computer file structures. Recently, a hybrid UF file structure (UF Dataset 58 Binary) was developed for experimental data that allows data to be stored in a more efficient binary format.

The use of the Universal File Format as a defacto "standard" has been of great value to the experimental dynamics (vibration and acoustic) community, particularly in the area of modal analysis. Both users and vendors have benefited from this defacto standard.

At this point, many of the UF formats are considered obsolete by the original developer (SDRC) even though these formats are still being used by the experimental community. The UC-SDRL uses the following selected UF formats in research software such as X-Modal and X-ACQuisition.


Selected Current Universal File Structures:

The specific ASCII structure of several existing Universal File Formats used for experimental data and/or results are:


Documentation for all UF Formats

Complete information regarding UF format information can be obtained from either SDRC or MTS. As a courtesy, MTS has granted the UC-SDRL permission to post the information here. Click here for complete Universal File Format Information.

A copy of the UF formats most commonly used for experimental data is available in PDF format. As a courtesy, MTS has granted the UC-SDRL permission to post the information here. Download Now